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Blog // Connect Ohio

A.C.E. Inc. Provides ECO to Educate Members on Technology

By Lyndsey Kleven

Video By Amanda Murphy

Advocacy, Choices, and Empowerment (ACE), Inc. is a wellness and recovery center for people who live with mental illness that aims to improve their quality of life through educational services and opportunity for community involvement.  ACE, Inc. has now joined with Tuscarawas County Public Library on Connect Ohio’s Every Citizen Online (ECO) computer and Internet training program. ACE saw the ECO program as a great fit for educating its members on computers and bring them up-to-date with technology.

“We thought ECO fit really well with what we’re trying to do with our folks,” said Todd Little, executive director of ACE, Inc. “We try to do things that help them to develop normal lives, and being that it’s the twenty-first century, everyone is on the computer. A lot of our folks have never had the opportunity to work on a computer, or set up an e-mail account.”

According to Little, the ACE clubhouse (recovery center) is equipped with a computer lab that gets minimal use; the computers are primarily for playing games, if the members can even use them at all. 

“We’re hoping that they are going to be able to utilize the computers that we have a little bit better,” said Little. “For the participants that have been coming (to ECO training), I have seen a change in their attitudes. They look at the Internet, computers, and technology differently, so I think that it’s been a really positive thing.” 

Jeffrey Edwards, ACE member and ECO participant, had used computers when he took a course at a vocational school, but said after taking ECO, he actually learned more about computers.

“There are a lot of different things you can learn on a computer that you couldn’t learn anywhere else,” said Edwards. “For the first time, I’ve learned how to use e-mail. I’ve also learned how to turn the computer off and on and how to search for things. I think it’s a very good class and I have a fantastic instructor.”

The classes start by teaching ACE students how to turn the computer on and off. Other topics covered range from backing out of problem situations, closing out of unfamiliar screens, and getting on the Internet to conduct searches.

Janet Miller, a member of ACE program, took the training because she was interested in keeping in touch with out of town family members. Miller never had her own e-mail address and was excited to learn through ECO.

“I’d like to learn more about how to get a hold of my kids and keep in contact through a webcam,” said Miller. “I’d like to use the Internet to search for recipes, play games, and find news. I’d like to do the classes over again to learn more for myself.”

To find a training facility near you, click here

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