Technology Keeps Gio Connected

Building personal connections has been shown to enrich lives in many ways.

That has never been more true than today. A great example of how connection can help is illustrated through Gio’s story.

Gio is a people person. Connecting with people is an important part of his daily routine. He loves meeting with his Friendship Group at church or chatting with people in Port Credit as he makes his way to the library to find a new book.

So when COVID hit this past March, Gio was devastated. Since he could no longer see his friends in person or visit the library, he needed to find new ways to do the things he loved.

The answer to being able to continue to make connections turned out to be technology, something with which Gio had very limited experience.

With some help, he started by learning how to use Zoom videoconferencing on his computer, so he could attend virtual meetings of his Friendship Group. “I can talk, pray and share pictures with my friends” explained Gio.

To keep up with his reading, he registered for an online account with the Mississauga Library System so he could continue to check out books.

While he doesn’t visit the library in person anymore these days, Gio did spend this past summer visiting many different parts of his neighbourhood so he could see familiar faces and some of his favourite sights. To remind him of the things he enjoyed seeing, such as flower gardens, parks by the lake, and construction sites, he would take pictures with his camera.

Gio enjoyed taking photos of things he saw around his neighbourhood.  But, with his old disposable cameras, he never knew how the pictures were going to turn out until they were developed. Now, thanks to a new digital camera and printer, he can see his pictures instantly, save them to his computer and have a copy framed on his wall the same day.

With his wall filled with photos of friends, family and things he enjoys from his community, the digital camera and printer have helped remind Gio of the joyful things in his life; even if he can’t see them in person all the time.

Thanks to his computer, digital camera and printer, Gio is able to stay connected to his friends and to his community, something that is vital to all people, even more so for people who statistically have fewer connections in their social networks.

Please support Community Living Mississauga as it builds a lending library of 50 devices which will let other people who have an intellectual disability stay as connected as Gio!