ellohay! West Michigan

What does access mean to a community?

Posted in benchmarks, discovery stages, links for community, organization, planning by forgr on February 21, 2008

What does access to technology mean to a community? What does access to technology do for communities? Children? People with disabilities? The elderly?

Mayor Gavin Newsom and the Department of Telecommunication and Information Services (DTIS) reports the following about San Francisco in his “San Francisco Digital Inclusion Strategy” report,

The Digital Divide in our own Community
70% of low-income families lack any internet access at their homes.
• Seniors, women, and people of color are less likely to have internet access or a computer in their home.
• Limited English speakers and disabled residents are much less likely to have internet or computer access in their home.

The Importance of Digital Inclusion
Numerous studies show closing the digital divide closes other divides such as education, health care, and economic.
• Young people with internet access and a computer are more likely to stay in school.
• An increasing amount of Americans access health care information over the internet.
• The level of technological knowledge and skills correspond to better paying jobs.

Some program elements…

Free and Affordable Wireless Internet Access
Computer Ownership and Basic Training Programs
Online Safety and Responsibility Resources
Accessible Solutions

Relevant, Multi-language Internet Content and Online Services such as the promotion of multi-lingual web portals, promotion of community based web sites, content development training programs, and new collaborations across San Francisco’s communities.

You can read more, including San Franciso’s Digital Inclusion Strategy digitalinclusionstrategy.doc, and the 2007 City Survey on the Digital Divide here.

There’s also this slice of k-12 internet usage here at the Mercer Island School District (Mercer Island, WA) website here.

What else does access to the internet do for communities?

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