African Americans in Seattle had significantly less access than compared to Caucasians and Asian-Americans. 35% of African Americans did not have access to the Internet at the time of the study, and only 52% of African American respondents had a computer at home. More than half of the people without computer access were over the age of 65, 68% had low incomes, and 36% had a high school education or less. These statistics go along very well with the Collins family -- they were African American, low-income, and the parents had a high school education or less.
Be able to describe some of the solutions that various organizations in Seattle designed to help close the digital divide. Would any of these solutions benefit the Collins family in Chicago? If so, which ones?
- Citizens' Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board: use money from the Citizens' Literacy and Access Fund to create a citywide IT planning position within the Department of Information Technology (formerly Department Technology Division). This made Seattle the first city to have a community technology planner.
- The Citizens' Literacy and Access Fund also includes a Technology Matching Fund, which gives money to increase access, support IT training, and/or "encourage IT applications that support neighborhood planning and action" to organizations that provide their own volunteer labor, materials, professional services, or want donations matched.
- Information Technology Indicator Project: aims to build a "technology healthy community," in which technology enhances the local economy, is equitable and affordable, meets needs and solves social issues, promotes relationship-building and community development, and supports the "sustainability of residents' quality of life."
- NNC: helped establish more than fifty CLCs (computer learning centers) in Washington. The long terms goals are to provide each center with internet access, to form alliances with small businesses, to make all centers accessible to the elderly and disabled, and to establish a software clearinghouse.