The Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative is joining the Executive Office of Elder Affairs and partners across the state to promote National Digital Inclusion Week, which is taking place from October 2-6 and is dedicated to promoting and increasing digital equity in our communities.
Many communities working to become more age and dementia friendly are promoting digital equity among older adults as technology access is important for people of all ages and plays a critical role in our lives – helping us connect with others, engage in our communities, work remotely, and receive vital information and services.
If you are an older adult, family member, or caregiver looking for more information about digital equity resources in your community (such as training on how to use a device or the internet), please contact MassOptions to speak to your local Aging Services Access Point, or call your local Council on Aging, which runs each city/town’s senior center. Be sure to ask about whether you might qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program, a federal benefit program that provides qualifying households with a monthly discount for broadband service and device rentals.
For interested communities and stakeholder organizations, MHAC co-hosts the Technology Learning Collaborative for Healthy Aging alongside the Executive Office of Elder Affairs. Please contact James Fuccione at MHAC if you are interested in joining these quarterly convenings.
Other resources to promote digital equity among older adults are available below:
- Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative (MHAC) Digital Equity Resource Page
- The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) map of local libraries offering internet access via wi-fi signals outside of their buildings
- Massachusetts Aging Network Guide for Hybrid Programs and Services
- Massachusetts Broadband Institute’s Digital Equity Partnerships Program and Municipal Digital Equity Planning Program
- National Resource Center for Engaging Older Adults (engAGED) report for aging service organizations on implementing and expanding virtual programming for older adults
- engAGED and Older Adults Technology Services (OATS) report for aging service organizations considering implementing hybrid programming
- National Council on Aging (NCOA) Resource Guide: Terminology for Virtual Programming
Training and Digital Literacy:
- Senior Planet National On-Demand Support Hotline
- Senior Planet Online offers free online programming, tutorials, and videos
- Tech Goes Home offers local technology support through partnerships with community organizations
- Cyber Seniors offers free technology training to older adults through 1:1 calls with student volunteers and training webinars
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