What are Access Now Computer Help Days ?
Internet access is increasingly necessary to obtain employment, education opportunities, health information and city services. But many people in California still do not have access to the resources of the Internet. According to the California Emerging Technology Fund's 2010 Annual Report, only 39% of Latino families, 40% of lower-income households, and 47% of people with disabilities have broadband access at home, compared with 62% of all adults statewide and 89% of all higher-income households.
Lorraine Williams, Treasure Island Computer Help Day Participant
There are several components to successful Internet access
1. Affordable Broadband or High-Speed Internet
2. Affordable equipment
3. Culturally appropriate and affordable technical support and training
4. Appropriate, relevant and engaging content
5. Personal and economic sustainability
If people do not have all of these components available, they are not likely to use the Internet in their daily lives.
Access Now Computer Help Days are a collaboration between the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF), the Stride Center and CTN Bay Area to engage volunteers to help increase Internet access and use in the California. Access Now Computer Help Day events are supported by a coalition of nonprofits, government agencies and local businesses, committed to creating digital opportunities.
Access Now Computer Help Days are free one day training, advice, and technical support events created to increase access to computers and the resources of the Internet in low-income and underserved communities in just one day.
Here is how it works:
1. Community Partners/ Community-based organizations, such as afterschool providers or community centers, identify what barriers may exist for those communities to access the resources of the Internet. We have created a Community Assessment Survey to help our partners identify barriers to access.
2. Then Access Now recruits volunteers, Event Partners and Demonstrations that can supply information or resources to address that need. There are currently more than 50 organizations that can provide specific information or programs.
3. An Access Now Computer Help Day event presents services or content to meet the community’s need(s). Each event may be different in order to be effective for a specific group of people.
Examples of past events
- Tech Support events where tech support professionals and volunteers diagnose and repair common problems and people can learn about affordable computer purchase and repair.
- Technology Resource Fair at which community organizations and businesses provide information about their technology programs and services. Volunteers help demonstrate useful website sites and activities.
- Advice Sessions at which trained volunteers sit down and show people what they want to learn, one-on-one.
- Hands-on workshops at which partners demonstrate a specific device or software application for a small group of participants.
We can make a difference in just one day.