NARRATOR 1: A person sorts through a stack of papers and envelopes.

NARRATOR 2: In today’s information age, it’s very easy to accumulate large amounts of paperwork and mail. Unfortunately, many people make the mistake of throwing unwanted mail in the trash, putting themselves at risk for identity theft and fraud.

NARRATOR 1: A tax form is shown. Then, Carol Clem sitting at an office desk in front of a computer.

NARRATOR 2: Carol Clem is determined not to be a victim. Her misson: get comfortable with using a paper shredder to help protect her identity.

NARRATOR 1: Carol places a stack of paper in a paper shredder. (Sound of shredder crunching)

NARRATOR 2: But, due to Carol’s limited sight, she has been hesitant to use her shredder.

NARRATOR 1: Carol speaks to Rae Burns as they sit in a home office.

CAROL: I was concerned on getting my hands too close to the opening to get the paper in.

NARRATOR 2: Carol has turned to rehabilitation specialist Rae Burns for instruction. Any lesson on using a paper shredder safely and efficiently always begins with the shredder turned off and unplugged.

RAE: Now let’s just identify the reference points both visually and tactilely.

NARRATOR 2: Before using a shredder for the first time, Rae encourages users to become familiar with all features, again, always with power disabled.

NARRATOR 1: Carol places her hands on the top of the shredder.

RAE: Slide from right to left. Slide your hand across the top, brining it up. Do you feel those little slots there?

CAROL: Yes, I do.

NARRATOR 2: Carol uses the flat of her hands to feel the different widths of this shredder’s three slots: one for credit cards, another for CDs, and the largest one for paper. She also learns how to turn the machine on and off and clean the shredder basket.

NARRATOR 1: Carol pulls the basket out from the bottom of the shredder. The plastic lining is filled with shredded paper.

CAROL: I was not aware that the basket could pull out as far as it does.

RAE: Actually, it pulls out completely.

CAROL: That’s incredible. That makes me feel better that you’re away from the machine.

NARRATOR 2: After Rae reminds Carol to remove all paper clips from items to be shredded and to keep all loose-fitting clothing and jewelry away from the shredder slots, Carol is ready to begin shredding. She plugs in the shredder, turns it on, and uses her left hand to feel for the edge of the slot where the paper will enter. You’ll want to keep the paper as vertical as possible to prevent jams.

RAE: Position this paper with your right hand. And you want to line it up vertically to go down and bring it right to your thumb in lining it up.

NARRATOR 2: For security purposes, we have changed the account numbers and addresses on the documents to be shredded. Here’s a checklist to consider:

NARRATOR 1: White text on a blue screen. Title of the list: “What to Shred.” Below that, additional text pops up onscreen.

NARRATOR 2: Security experts recommend shredding unneeded credit card statements, old tax documents, items with your social security number, or anything containing sensitive information.

NARRATOR 1: End of list.

NARRATOR 2: Credit card fraud is the most common form of identity theft. Carol begins her exercise with the shredding of enemy number one, unsolicited credit card offers.

NARRATOR 1: Carol places a stuffed envelope into the shredder.

NARRATOR 2: Carol is pleased to learn most shredders can handle multiple pages. This one has a 20 page maximum. But any machine can jam, and knowing how to fix jams means being more confident using the shredder.

Rae explains the use of the reverse and forward features.

NARRATOR 1: Carol pushes the silver reverse button on the top of the machine with her left thumb.

RAE: Put it in reverse and the paper should be sliding upward back out of the machine, and then put it in forward.

NARRATOR 2: If that doesn’t work, turn the shredder off, unplug it, then attempt to manually remove the jam from below.

RAE: Carefully, gently, I want you to reach in. Can you feel the little prongs in there?


RAE: If it gets gummed up or bunches together, you might have to just kind of pull things down, pull it out.

NARRATOR 2: By the end of short lesson, Carol is shredding with ease and feeling confident that she has a solution to all her unwanted paper.

NARRATOR 1: Carol puts another stack of paper into the shredder.