ConnecTyler Giving East Texans Needed Computer Access

Brandi Layne has hit the computer searching for a better life, a better job.

"They train me to get ready to go to college," says Brandi Layne. "And I need a lot of training and this is where I get it from. Little by little I learn each day."

27-year-old Brandi has Cerebral Palsy and routinely uses the computer lab at the East Texas Center for Independent Living. But four months ago, there was no lab for the people with disabilities to use. Employees at the Center for Independent Living had to offer up their own computers for Brandi and others. That was, until ConnecTyler stepped in.

"Without ConnecTyler, we wouldn't have the computers because they donated to them us," says Debbie Golden, East Texas Center for Independent Living. "There are a lot out there who need help and without ConnecTyler, we wouldn't have our resource room."

ConnecTyler, a non-profit themselves, helps other nonprofit organizations to improve computer literacy throughout the community. One way they do that is recycling old computers either from you or local businesses.

"Just that first touching of the computer, that first mastery of getting on line and filling out the form opens a new world for those people," says Mickey Slimp, ConnecTyler CEO. "And that is heartening when you get to see it happen."

"This was my last hope," says Brandi. "And thanks to Debbie and everybody and they were willing to take time and help me."

Brandi says because of ConnecTyler and the Center for Independent Living, she's just one key closer to college and a career for life.

Dana Dixon, reporting