Host: Welcome to Independent Perspective, a public affairs presentation of Western New York Independent Living (WNYIL). Our guest today is Erin Burnelle, director of client services at the University at Buffalo’s Center for Assistive Technology. And I'm your host Ernie Churchwell. Welcome back to the program, Erin.
Guest: Yes, thanks for having me, Ernie.
Host: It's our pleasure. And as always, you are here under the auspices of TRAID. If you could tell our listeners just what that is?
Guest: Of course, so TRAID is an acronym, of course, it stands for technology related assistance for individuals with disabilities, so it's spelled TRAID and it's a New York State program through the New York State Justice Center, but it actually has federal funding sources. So, all counties in New York State are essentially served by a TRAID Center, and all states in the United States are served by a comparable center. Our goals are for assistive technology, education, demonstration and loan. Through TRAID we have a variety of equipment available that people can borrow for free and try it for short term use. Sometimes that might be like a try before you buy. If some of this stuff is really expensive and if you're not sure it's going to work for you, you might want to essentially try it before you buy it, or it could just be that you're not sure what's going to work for you, and you're trying to explore or even a short term need like a surgery.
Host: Well, it sounds like that's really a best combination of things that could serve the individual. As always, you are going to focus in on a particularly intriguing piece of technology. What can you tell us about the Microsoft To-Do List/Task?
Guest: So, Microsoft has come, essentially, come out with a lot of changes in the last few years, of course, we have things like Windows 11 and Microsoft 365, which is their new version of Office. But one of my favorite things that has come out recently is the Microsoft To-Do app. So, I think of it like a digital to-do list and everything that you might want to do in a to-do list you essentially can with To-Do. So, with Microsoft To-Do, you can download apps, but you can also go online. So even if you have a device that you don't want to download apps on, you can go to To-Do. So, it's to-do.office.com and sign in with a Microsoft account. It is free to create a Microsoft account.
So, it is free to use Microsoft To-Do, or you can also install an app on Android or Apple devices or download the app for Windows as well. With To-Do, you essentially can create your custom To-Do List so you can name them. You can create sub lists within them, and you can also mark them as important or set different reminders and due dates and a lot of different essential criteria about one of the tasks that you're setting up.
Host: Is this something that you would use to activate like a laptop or a smartphone or some other piece of technology? Since it's got the capability of giving you reminders?
Guest: Yes. So, you can use it on, really any piece of technology because you can also use the web version. This could even be used on something like a Chromebook that typically can’t install software on it, and I think of it really like I said, a digital To-Do List. So, we've all of course made to do lists in life, and I find for myself I might make a to-do list and I might leave it on my desk at work and then work from home the next day and wonder what the heck I was planning on doing that next day so.
Having it digital means it's kind of always at your fingertips if you're someone that has your phone or your computer alongside you. One of the things that I also really like about it for students who, because I work with a lot of college students as well, but really in general, people who might benefit from breaking up tasks or setting reminders, you can actually set a task and break it up into subtasks as well to make sure that you're planning out your task accordingly.
Host: Actually, we're running short on time. I'm sure people will have questions. How can they reach you?
Guest: So, we have a few changes that we've made to our office recently. We have moved. So, we used to be located at the Alberta Drive location and we're now on 210, John Glenn Dr. at Suite 14.
We do require an appointment for anyone who's stopping by because our office is what I call small but mighty. So, we're a small team. We are very busy, so make sure you have an appointment. You can do that by calling 716-836-1168 and we also now have an e-mail address for anyone who is a little bit easier to access over email and that is email@example.com.
Host: Thanks so much for being with us Erin.
Guest: Thanks Ernie.
Host: You've been listening to Independent Perspective, a public affairs presentation of WNYIL. Our guest today was Erin Burnell, director for client services at the University at Buffalo’s Center for Assistive Technology. And I've been your host, Ernie Churchwell.