Thanks to a grant from the NextFifty Initiative, OATS will be launching Senior Planet in Colorado this summer. This will include a Senior Planet Exploration Center in Denver and a network of satellite labs hosted by partner organizations in Colorado that serve older adults.
As part of its pre-launch activities, OATS participated in the Colorado Gerontological Society’s annual Salute to Creative Aging Conference, the state’s largest expo for older adults. The event took place at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver on May 12, 2018. Befitting OATS’ mission, the theme for this year’s conference was “The Tech Trek,” with a focus on technology and creativity.
Through its booth on the busy exhibition floor, OATS introduced Colorado seniors and local social service organizations to Senior Planet. The booth featured sample Senior Planet curriculum, iPads demonstrating SeniorPlanetU.org, and a beam robot that connected with long-time Senior Planet member Muriel in New York City (pictured below). Muriel drove the robot around the conference space and talked with Colorado seniors about Senior Planet. OATS staff provided visitors with an overview of OATS and Senior Planet, and information on Senior Planet’s upcoming launch in the Centennial State.
OATS met with hundreds of older adults who were excited to learn that free technology training was coming to Colorado this summer. A few seniors said that they had no tech skills or knowledge, and didn’t think it would work for them. OATS staff and volunteers reassured them that trainings started with the basics and classes were designed specifically for older adults and how, in New York and Maryland, we have taught thousands of Senior Planet members basic computing skills, enhancing their quality of life as aging members of society. Other seniors who have a lot of technology experience were excited to learn that OATS offers more advanced courses focused on social engagement, financial security, civic participation, and creativity.
OATS also met with many other organizations who were interested in hosting classes and providing technology education in their communities.