None of us can solve the challenges facing an aging population alone. But working together with our program participants and many partner organizations, we can bring about the changes and increased funding needed to support people aging in their own homes and neighborhoods. We specialize in creating coalitions – including neighbors, community organizations, government agencies, business leaders, and academics – to bring about the changes we need to support seniors and people with disabilities.
Working Together to Close the Digital Divide
San Francisco is known around the world as a hub of technological innovation and home to some of the biggest names in technology. Yet we’re also home to tens of thousands of seniors and people with disabilities who remain on the other side of the digital divide – with no access to the online information and technology that most of us can’t imagine life without.
Being connected to online information and technology is increasingly essential for so many aspects of our lives and well-being. For a senior, being able to go online means looking up information about a health issue, finding nearby social activities, or watching a video of a grandchild. For a person with low vision, having a tablet with a screen reader means being able to listen to an email from a loved one, the news, or anything on the internet. For people with other disabilities, the right assistive technology can open up a world of possibilities for learning and connecting with others. That’s why bridging the digital divide is so urgent. And in a city like San Francisco, it is possible.
Realizing that this challenge would require bringing together leaders from many sectors, in 2014, CLC helped found the San Francisco Technology Council. This multi-stakeholder effort to improve access for older adults and people with disabilities is the first collaboration of its kind in the nation and seeks to be a model of digital inclusivity for all cities. Read more about the SF Technology Council.
These opportunities for leaders to come together is already creating results. In a pilot program for San Francisco’s low income seniors, Comcast has been able to work closely with the City’s Department of Aging and Adult Services, Community Living Campaign, Community Technology Network, and Self-Help for the Elderly. The result is a three-part approach that includes low cost home broadband, access to low cost computers, and access to free computer training. This partnership, which just launched in October, has already show great progress in connecting San Francisco seniors.