Hello Brian he is connected with a 6 month paid on the job training program that ranges from learning Office Skills, some culinary arts as well as some basic
excel book keeping. It is a nonprofit organization.
Do you know anything about where he's working? I ask simply because it is not unusual for businesses to forbid any connection of "outside equipment" to their networks, not even as a reasonable accommodation. Those that take that stance will often
spend thousands of dollars to create the environment required but such that it's under their control entirely. This is not directly relevant to your overarching question but is something that does need to be considered.
ZoomText at 60 times is, without question, not practical for use in the workplace. Given my own experience tutoring clients with ZoomText I'd be strongly encouraging them to look at screen reader solutions or else going to something like a big
screen TV as their monitor of choice. Pan and scan is difficult and disorienting at scales far below 60 times and would be a nightmare in a workplace. Better to "scale up" the monitor such that lower magnification, or no magnification, might be needed. I
will say at the outset that I've had very little success with clients using ZoomText at high magnification levels. It makes getting from place to place on the screen exceedingly tedious and it's very difficult to have any idea of where you are in the context
of the entirety of a document, desktop, etc.
As far as the shopping goes, my concern is almost entirely about comfort with the keyboard and/or mouse/mouse pad for a given user. When keyboard access is your primary interaction method with a computer you really have to like the way the keyboard
is laid out (e.g, key spacing and rake), the nature of the touch pressure for the keys, etc. If this guy already has computer experience of any kind these sort of preferences are already formed, but there's no way to easily express them or categorize them
- it's an "I know it when I feel it" thing. If he doesn't have experience with a given hardware format (e.g., laptop, all-in-one,etc.) that's all the more reason to encourage him to do some basic exploration of what's out there as it will allow him to eliminate
a lot of options due to reasons that have nothing to do with what he can or cannot see. I wish I could convince more people that doing a "test drive" on a computer is as essential in making a buying choice for one as it is for an automobile. There are just
too many things that can only be revealed by actual interaction with the device itself.
There's also the question: "Is his vision stable?" My approach with individuals whose visual profile is likely to remain unchanged is quite different than it is with individuals who are undergoing progressive loss that is unlikely to be halted.
I've got a client now who was once fully sighted, was losing his vision when we started working together and strongly preferred ZoomText because he could still see using it, but whose prognosis was for continued vision loss. I told him early on that while
I wanted him to know ZoomText I really wanted to spend some time while he could still see getting down the basics of a screen reader, because that was eventually going to be his one and only access method that would be practical. He still uses magnification
for books and the like, and very occasionally for a specific item on the computer, but he's slowly transitioned to being primarily a JAWS user precisely because ZoomText became impractical on a routine basis as his residual vision deteriorated.