This post is brought to you in partnership with Comcast, but as usual, all opinions are my own.
I was extremely excited to have been invited to attend a Digital Inclusion Rally event hosted by Comcast earlier this month at PA School for the Deaf (PSD). Here are my favorite moments and why it brought tears to my eyes!
First, in case you’re not familiar with Internet Essentials, check THIS out!
Since 2011, the Internet Essentials program has connected more than eight million low-income Americans to the Internet at home, 90 percent of whom were not previously connected to the Internet at home.
This number includes nearly 290,000 in the City of Philadelphia – isn’t that amazing?
Internet Essentials has an integrated, wrap-around design that addresses each of the three major barriers to broadband adoption that research has identified. These include: a lack of digital literacy skills, lack of awareness of the relevance of the Internet to everyday life needs, and fear of the Internet; the lack of a computer; and cost of internet service.
The program is structured as a partnership between Comcast and tens of thousands of school districts, libraries, elected officials, and nonprofit community partners.
For more information, or to apply for the program, please visit www.internetessentials.com.
Back to the event: Comcast, in partnership with Connect Direct, a subsidiary of
Communication Service for the Deaf, launched a customer service support via American Sign Language (ASL) for Internet Essentials, Xfinity Internet, and general Xfinity billing questions, called ASL Now .
The announcement was made at (PSD ) to celebrate Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, which is the nation’s largest, most comprehensive, and most successful Internet adoption program for low-income households.
“The Internet is an incredible resource so long as you have the skills and the tools to use it,” said David L. Cohen, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at Comcast Corporation. “By partnering with Connect Direct and working with the deaf community, we want to address and break down the barriers to broadband adoption that are unique to this population. That starts by being able to speak with customers in their native language.”
The launch of ASL Comcast customer support is a continuation of Comcast’s commitment to the disability community.
It follows the largest eligibility expansion in the history of the Internet Essentials program, announced earlier this year, to include all qualified low-income households, including people with disabilities.
This is in line with Comcast’s commitment to make products, services, and experiences accessible to the widest possible audience including people with disabilities.
I am very excited to tell you that Comcast also announced today that it created an
internetessentials.com/accessibility landing page, with direct links to the new ASL Now chat function, the ability to order collateral materials in Braille and large print, and an accessibility-specific FAQ.
Additionally, the Learning Center on the Internet Essentials website now includes nearly 50 Internet safety and digital literacy videos with closed captions for the deaf.
Topics include: online safety and security, basic uses of the Internet, and how to get various things done online.
The website is also operable with assistive technologies, such as screen reader software, for the blind or visually impaired.
Earlier this year, Comcast announced a partnership with the American Association of People with Disabilities and, working together, the two organizations will continue to add even more digital literacy training content to the Learning Portal that will be specifically designed for people with disabilities.
It was also so amazing to witness the power of connectivity in action when all the 90 PSD students at the rally received an iPad and six months of complimentary Internet access, through the program!
What some kids do effortlessly and take for granted was visibly an amazing gift for these students!
Just knowing a large corporation is creating services and programs to serve minorities and help our community live better lives, fills my heart with joy!
So extremely honored to have been there to witness it all!
Do you know somebody who doesn’t have access to the internet/has a disability, who may qualify for internet essentials?
Click HERE for more!
Can’t wait to hear what you think!
As usual, give us a trendy shout!