Last month, Community Tech Network was featured in an AARP article, Programs Can Help Older Adults Get or Upgrade Computers, Internet Access. This article stresses the need for accessible technology and affordable internet access — and highlights organizations that are tackling this need head-on.
“Among the leaders is the nonprofit Community Tech Network, with locations in the San Francisco Bay Area and Austin, Texas. Within a month of a wave of shutdowns in the United States, the group had launched Home Connect, offering hundreds of free devices and internet as well as virtual training. Most internet providers nationwide also offer low-cost options to those in need, but the specific amounts vary by provider and locale.
“‘People need this connection to others, and this is the only safe way to do it,’ says Kami Griffiths, Community Tech Network’s co-founder and executive director. ‘This tablet and the internet is their lifeline to the rest of the world, so they don’t have to feel so alone.'”
While we are excited to be recognized for our work, it greatly motivates us to expand our reach and continue to solve connectivity and accessibility issues for older adults. As the population most vulnerable to the virus, older adults need to use the internet to help them reduce the risk of infection. Access to up-to-date information about vaccinations and the digital tools to safely connect with family and friends is critical.
The need is obvious, and our response is crucial. We want to share what we’ve learned over the last year about acquiring devices, training instructors, configuring tablets, and creating a digital literacy curriculum — in hopes that other organizations can replicate our model to reach their own communities. Learn more about partnering with us through our Train-the-Trainer program.