Digital Inclusion Week, an effort aimed at raising awareness for both digital inequities and the ongoing nationwide efforts to bridge such gaps, begins Monday, May 8, with participating government agencies and civic tech groups hosting related events and sharing stories that highlight the varied facets of an increasingly prevalent issue.
The week will see dozens of events take place across the country, from San Francisco to San Antonio to Randolph, Vt. A centralized listing is available on the official website, which also includes information about affiliates and ways to get involved. Digital equity has become a key issue for those involved with government technology, as agencies ranging from local governments to specified state bodies seek to provide all citizens under their purview with equal access to digital information and technological tools.
The efforts taking place in connection with the week are diverse. For example, a group in Austin is showing a documentary that tells the stories of senior citizens taking their first steps into the digital realm with the help of teen mentors, a screening that will be followed by a tech tutorial. Meanwhile, others are taking an informational tact. Connect Michigan, a nonprofit that partners with the Michigan Public Service Commission to bridge the broadband gap in that state, published a blog post to mark the start of the week that details the best low-cost Internet options.
Interest is likely to be high in all such endeavors. There is, perhaps, no major city in the country that isn’t currently yearning to have every one of its citizens become tech-savvy. With that in mind, Digital Inclusion Week serves as a nice reminder that concentrated efforts to improve tech gaps are underway in New Orleans, Portland and Boston, among many, many other urban spaces.