Frequently Asked Questions

  • What exactly does ACES do? We refurbish donated used computers and provide them to low income persons with disabilities or low income seniors. The systems we provide are ready for Internet access.

  • What is provided by ACES? Internet-ready laptop computers with Windows 7, Microsoft Internet Explorer, an e-mail program, a Microsoft-compatible free office suite and other free software. No printer is provided.

  • What is that $125 processing fee for? This helps pay for workshop/storage rent as well as telephone/office costs. Although all labor is done by volunteers and some cash donations are received for upgrade parts, ACES no longer has access to the donated workshop/storage space it used for several years. You are unlikely to obtain as good a computer for the cost. This fee is nonrefundable unless ACES is unable to give you a computer.

  • How long is the waiting list? Generally 1 month or less if there are no special needs. A person does not start on the waiting list until the application, verifications and $125 non-refundable processing fee have all been received by ACES.

  • Will my computer be delivered? Sorry, but we no longer have volunteers available to deliver the computers. The computer system must be picked up at the Santee workshop.

  • What are the requirements for getting a system? A San Diego County resident, who has a medically verifiable disability (or age 65 or older), perceived capable of using a computer, and who is low income (defined as: under $1,000/person/household/month) will receive a free computer. People with a higher income will be charged a sliding scale fee. Income and disability must be verified in writing, and a $125 nonrefundable processing fee paid, for a recipient to be on the waiting list. 

  • Where is ACES located? ACES is located in Santee, CA.

  • If I volunteer to help ACES, can I get my system faster? No. Everyone who receives a system is asked to volunteer to help someone, somewhere. While helping ACES is MUCH appreciated, it is not fair to penalize those who are being helpful in other ways and other parts of the community.

  • Will ACES teach me how to use my computer? Will ACES teach me how to use my computer? To the extent that we have volunteers who are willing and able, some tutoring may be provided for homebound recipients. Currently we have very few volunteer tutors. Any time a recipient can get the learning elsewhere, we encourage it. Many free area classes are available.

  • Will ACES fix my computer if it breaks down after I get it? Donated equipment may be repaired or upgraded by ACES staff at reduced rates. None of the equipment is guaranteed. ACES intent is to furnish "beginner" systems for as many persons as possible.

  • Do I have to use the Internet services suggested by ACES? No. You are free to use any Internet service provider you wish. Some Internet options are listed below. ACES WILL want to know your email address. Near the time we are ready to provide your system, we will call you to learn your Internet preference:
     a. Cox / Time Warner - High Speed...check with your cable company for pricing and availability.
     b. DSL - High Speed...check with your telephone company for price and availability.

  • Are donations tax-deductible? Yes, we are a 501(c)3 corporation.

  • What are the strings attached to my getting a computer through ACES?
       a. I understand that I will be responsible for furnishing my own desk, power strip, telephone cord (long enough to go from the computer to the phone jack), and for a phone line splitter which makes two jacks out of one in time for installation of the computer.
       b. I understand that part of my commitment to this program will include my participation in an ongoing research study to determine the personal benefits of having a computer to use. This study will require me to respond to questionnaires about my computer use and experience at least three times over a year and a half period.
       c. I agree to keep ACES informed of my address, telephone number, and email address changes for two years following receipt of ACES computer equipment.
       d. I agree to do my best to volunteer in the community.
       e. I agree to do my best to participate, online (by email) in ACES online groups and citizenship activities.

Please remember… Nearly EVERYONE WORKING WITH ACES IS A VOLUNTEER. We do this work because we care or because it is fun or because we are learning something we enjoy. No one has to do this. Most of us work full time in addition to our ACES work. The rest of us are disabled ourselves. We make mistakes. It’s hard for us to get your phone calls returned promptly since we have no regular ACES work hours. Please practice patience with us. We do our best to be patient with you! When you do call, please speak slowly and clearly. If you are aware that you have a speech impediment or a strong accent, you might have someone else call on your behalf. We often cannot understand the messages left on our service.

Thank You for your understanding!