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 Computer Instruction

Computer Instruction

Every day computers seem to become an ever more important part of our world. They are key in helping us communicate with others, and are involved in a large percentage of the jobs available today. Employers will often not even list specific computer skills required for a position because in todays fast paced world, they assume you will have those skills. Things such as typing, creating documents, researching on the web, doing a mailing, creating a spreadsheet or putting together a presentation are skills employers expect their employees to have.

We have compiled a set of courses around teaching the computer skills most employers expect these days. The instruction incorporates the use of the assistive tools the client is currently using. Our course work has been standardized using DeWitt instruction material. This material has been approved as the recognized standard by the Michigan Technology Board for the Deaf and Blind. Additionally it is also used by our instructors in the classroom as requested by the Michigan Board of Education. The instructional material not only covers the computer skills being trained but also in the application of assistive technologies used in the instruction.

Our course material can be delivered in several different ways depending on the client’s needs. We currently offer direct one on one training, remote instruction and instruction within a classroom environment. Currently the majority of our instruction is completed either directly as one on one or remotely (or a combination of both). Both remote and in home instruction come with the benefit of an instructor dedicated solely to the client.

Remote training reduces the overall cost of instruction and has the added benefit of making it possible for you to train on your own computer in the comfort of your home or office. When we train you remotely in your home or office, we assign a personal instructor who will work with you one-on-one. Although the instructor remains in our central office, the Internet tools that both you and the instructor use make it feel like the instructor is sitting right next to you. The instructor sees everything you do on your computer screen and helps talk you through new steps and processes, guiding you to develop new skills and confidence. Our remote training program often is more effective than training in our central facility, because it also encourages you to move forward more independently. Classroom instruction is normally limited to eight clients or less depending on the material being taught. The following courses are currently offered.

Typing Skills
In order to get the most out of our instruction programs it is necessary to have a good base to start on. Our typing skills instruction includes 20 hours of one on one training to either introduce a client to the keyboard or improve their typing performance. Clients with little or no keyboard exposure can expect to type between 8-15 words per minute after this course. Those who already are able to type at 10 words per minute or better often improve by 50-100% in their typing speed and improvements in typing accuracy of 10-30%. Our instruction focus’ on the home keys on the keyboard and repetition, adding more keys through each lesson. Lessons progress from proper positioning of hands to typing of words, phrases and eventually complete sentences. Each client is expected to perform one hour of practice for each hour of instruction.

Introduction to PC’s and basic navigation skills (Windows 7)
This course focuses on the Windows based PC and introduces the client to the most current Windows environment and how to navigate the system. The course is 20 hours in length and covers the following:

  • How to turn the PC on and log in
  • Navigating the desktop including the start menu and taskbar
  • Keyboard commands used for PC navigation
  • Windows Explorer
  • Understanding the windows file structure
  • Creating shortcuts
  • Creating, moving and deleting folders.
  • Creating, moving and deleting files.
  • How to cut, copy and paste individual objects as well as multiple objects at one time
  • Understanding internal storage devices
  • Using external storage devices such as flash drives, SD cards, mp3 players and phones

Microsoft Word (2010)
Understanding how to create, edit and maintain documents is critical in today’s job market. Many employers simply assume applicants will have this ability. This course introduces the client to using Word as a tool to create and maintain documents. The course is 20 hours in length and covers the following:

  • Creating a new document
  • Setting the page layout including margins and line spacing
  • Paragraph formatting
  • Text formatting
  • Selecting text and how to cut, copy and paste
  • Header and Footers
  • Creating and navigating tables within a document
  • How to properly format section headers and create a table of content
  • Keyboard navigation and formatting commands specific to MS Word
  • How to navigate and customize the ribbon interface
  • Searching and replacing for text
  • Spelling and grammar check
  • How to insert images and other content to your document
  • How to perform a mail merge from a list of addresses
  • Printing your document to paper or a PDF file
  • How to save or save as your document
  • How to locate and open a document

Microsoft Excel (2010)
This class introduces the client to the use of Excel. A spreadsheet is an excellent tool for keeping track of small amounts of information such as a list of customers. By using formulas, a spreadsheet can allow one to analyze a situation such as refinancing a loan and visually what impact certain variables may have. Charts and graphs can also be easily created using a spreadsheet. Excel and spreadsheets in general are a very strong business tool which allows one to analyze data and review it in different ways. Our course in MS Excel includes 20 hours of instruction. The following concepts are taught:

  • Creating a new Excel Workbook
  • Understanding the spreadsheets within a Workbook
  • Understanding rows and columns
  • Entering numbers into a spreadsheet
  • Entering text into a spreadsheet
  • Using simple formulas to manipulate the data
  • Using a formula to determine the monthly payment on a loan
  • Creating a simple chart/graph
  • Using Excel to make a list of customers and contact information for a mail merge
  • How to save a workbook
  • How to locate and open an existing workbook
  • Setting the print area and printing your work

Microsoft Powerpoint (2010)
Our instruction on Powerpoint teaches how to put together a presentation using assistive technology. Over this 15 hour course several different skills are taught including:

  • Creating a new Powerpoint presentation
  • Adding, moving and deleting slides
  • Adding text to a slide
  • Adding images to a slide
  • Adding sound to a slide
  • Playing and navigating your presentation
  • Saving your presentation
  • Opening your presentation
  • Copying a presentation to a portable device for use on other PC’s


Microsoft Access (2010)
Our introductive course to MS Access goes over the basics of database creation and entry of data. As the interface for Access is fairly graphical and most assistive technologies are not able to fully interact with Access, the majority of the instruction is focused on using the SQL language to create and manage databases. The knowledge learned regarding SQL can be translated to using other database products such as MS SQL and MySQL. Our MS Access course is 20 hours in length and covers the following material:

  • Creating a Access database file
  • Introduction to SQL
  • Creating a new table
  • Inserting data in a table using SQL
  • Updating data in a table using SQL
  • Deleting data using SQL
  • Selecting data using SQL
  • Selecting data from two related tables using SQL
  • Exporting data from Access using SQL


Microsoft Internet Explorer and web based email
The ability to use both the web and email is key to communicating with others these days. Our course on using the internet is focused on using Microsoft’s Internet Explorer for accessing the internet and Google’s gmail for web based email. The course is 20 hours in length and focuses on the following material:

  • Opening Internet Explorer
  • Using the address bar
  • Creating bookmarks
  • Using the Google web site to search for web pages
  • Navigating web pages
  • How to navigate links
  • Navigating frames on a web page
  • Filling out web based forms
  • Keyboard commands specific to internet explorer
  • Creating a gmail email account
  • Logging into your gmail account
  • Adding a contact to the address book
  • Sending an email
  • Reading received email
  • Deleting email
  • Saving and opening an attachment to an email
  • Creating an email and the importance of the subject field
  • Sending an email
  • Understanding the CC and BCC fields
  • Adding an attachment to an email
  • Emptying your trashcan or deleted items folder
  • Creating new folders for organizing your email
  • Viewing your sent items
  • Logging off of gmail


MS Outlook
In many business environments you will encounter or be required to use MS Outlook. There are two flavors of this product. One is the Outlook application that is part of Microsoft Office which resides on a PC. The second is a web based interface to Outlook available remotely through the internet. Our class goes over both interfaces and includes up to 15 hours of instruction covering the following material:

The material below is taught for both the PC Based and the web interface of Outlook

  • Logging into your Outlook account
  • Adding a contact to the address book
  • Sending an email
  • Reading received email
  • Deleting email
  • Saving and opening an attachment to an email
  • Creating an email and the importance of the subject field
  • Sending an email
  • Understanding the CC and BCC fields
  • Adding an attachment to an email
  • Emptying your trashcan or deleted items folder
  • Creating new folders for organizing your email
  • Viewing your sent items
  • Logging off of Outlook

Apple based Computers, IPAD, IPHONE and IPOD Instruction
We are currently in the process of putting training material together for the instruction of how to use Apple computers, IPAD, IPHONE and IPOD devices using Apple’s built in assistive technologies. Currently these products are excellent at providing material for consumption in a way that is beneficial to those with vision loss. However, their interfaces provide a significant hurdle in allowing one who is legally blind to input data into these devices. If you are interested in having a course specific to this platform, please let us know. We would be happy to discuss what we are planning and welcome feedback as to what are clients are seeking.

Customized Instruction to meet your needs
At no cost to you, you easily can contact our computer training team to help you assess your computer and computer training needs. We will discuss your situation and help develop a program that meets your end goals. The following questions will be asked of , to help us both understand better what you need, what it will cost, and if there are possible sources of financial help to cover the cost of your training.

Examples of questions we will discuss with you.

  • Is my computer compatible with special software required to aid the visually impaired?
  • What is my skill level and what do I want to do with improved and increased computer skills?
  • Is my job-in-jeopardy: do I need immediate training because my job is at risk?
  • What kind and level of computer training do I need, and how much will the program cost?
  • Am I eligible for state agency assistance?
  • Am I eligible for fee adjustment? Under some circumstances, we can adjust our training costs downward.
  • Are computer training scholarships available for which I may qualify?
  • How can I develop a “friends and family” assistance program?
  • And other related questions

Contact us today
Contact us today for a free assessment of your needs. Don’t put this off any longer! We can help you keep a job or expand your employment options; enhance your ability to communicate with others or surf the Internet; and improve your quality of life. You have everything to gain, so contact us today.
Email: training@oicmd.org or call toll-free: (877) 937-4777 and leave a message. We will get back to you as soon as possible. When the operator answers tell them you want to speak with the computer training team.

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