Gaylen Floy (left) and Kosi Asabere (right)

Meet Kosi and Gaylen, two of the star employees at the Lighthouse. They teach people how to use assistive technology as part of the Computer Training Program (CTP).

Kosi Asabere is the accessibility manager for the CTP. She started working at the Lighthouse in 2018. She credits her independence to computer and technology training. Her confidence has empowered her to move across the country to work at the Lighthouse, navigate Seattle’s busy streets, and live a life steeped in passion. The dramatic impact technology training has had on her own life inspires her to help others become more independent and efficient every day. 

“We have to reach our employees as soon as they get here, so that they know they are supported the moment they get in the door.”

— Kosi Asabere, Accessibility Manager

Gaylen Floy is the assistive technology instructor in the Computer Training Program (CTP). She shares Kosi’s passion for teaching. She is inspired by her students and coworkers every day. The collective knowledge at the Lighthouse is astonishing, and Gaylen is constantly trying to tap into that knowledge through the power of peer learning.

Gaylen and Abdul in the CTP

Assistive Technology Instructor Gaylen Floy (left) working with student Abdul Sinyan (right) in the CTP lab at the Seattle facility

Gaylen left her career in the newspaper industry when her vision loss became disruptive. She found a new home in the world of technology. Gaylen says that learning to rely on keyboard commands to use a screen reader has been more difficult than the Adobe software that she used as an illustrator! Watching her students take their knowledge from class and into their work environment is immensely rewarding. 

Each student needs different training and tools to find success. For some students, their time in the lab is spent learning new commands for their iPhone. Others are being trained to use screen magnifiers, screen readers, or learning to transition back and forth between the two. There are also opportunities to learn to code documents so that they are more accessible.

The lab features refreshable braille displays, desktop computers, laptops, iPads, CCTVs and much more assistive technology. The CTP has been designed for anyone who wants to learn regardless of their level of vision. It is the hub for innovative thinking and personal growth at the Lighthouse.

Kosi describes her vision as “just enough to get in trouble.” She is completely blind in one eye and severely nearsighted in the other. Gaylen experiences a combination of drastic vision loss with nearly constant flashing light. They benefit from assistive technology themselves, so they are excellent liaisons to share their knowledge with the community. 

“I am a tech junkie! If I can use it, I will use it,” Kosi boasts. However, technology itself is just a tool, and people need to know how to use it. Kosi explains the value of her own training: “When I went blind, I realized that I couldn’t touch type. I didn’t know where the keys were. At the end of my training, I was coding. That’s real power.” 

Instructors at the Lighthouse work every day to make the world more accessible by providing critical skills to everyone who wants to learn.