Why is DIW Important?
Digital Inclusion Week is October 2-6, 2023 – the eighth annual week of awareness, recognition, and celebration. With support from National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA), hundreds of companies, organizations, and individuals across the country participated in special events and campaigns to promote and increase digital equity in their communities.
With the growth of the digital inclusion field and abundance of community excitement, 2023 will be a record-breaking year for Digital Inclusion Week. Organizations, advocates, and other digital inclusion supporters across the country used DIW to highlight solutions for affordable internet access, appropriate devices for all, and digital skills programs.
Why pay attention to DIW now?
At its core, digital inclusion is about creating a society where every individual can fully participate in the digital world. It is a journey toward equality, access, empowerment, and a brighter future.
It’s also about acknowledging the hundreds of households in Maryland who do not have a foundational tool for internet connectivity – a wireline high-speed internet subscription for their home. It will take engaging in the statewide broadband planning process, creating partnerships focused digital inclusion and network deployment, increasing public awareness of internet service affordability programs, and equipping users everywhere with digital skills.
There has never been a more important time to work together on this issue. We hope your exposure to Digital Inclusion Week this year was an opportunity to explore digital equity and contribute your expertise and energy to organizations in your community working to bridge the digital divide.
What does Carroll Tech do to uphold the DIW values?
Across Carroll County, CTIC is working to close the digital divide and make technology available to everyone. Through programs like Techworks, for years, the CTIC has been provided the devices necessary to operate in a world becoming technologically centric. Sometimes compared to water, having quality supply and access to internet is essential to full participation in all sectors of life (dive into the digital equity impact). By engaging in national initiatives like the Affordable Connectivity Program and continuing to provide veterans with laptops, the CTIC will equip people with the connections they need to get online with confidence in their skills and their internet connection.
Making this technology available is just the first step. The CTIC will continue to provide job training and pathways to certification and workshops empowering community members how to use and apply these devices to their ambitions and interest. Through programs like Senior Planet, the CTIC is offering solutions to the digital divide.
Thank you for participating in Digital Inclusion Week with us! We’re excited to share with you what we worked on this week and year soon. Happy DIW 2023!
This blog was written in part by Jack Bayne, our new American Connection Corps Fellow and Digital Navigator. Digital Navigators are individuals who address the whole digital inclusion process: home connectivity, devices, digital skills, helpline, connections with community members through repeated interactions. He will be pivotal in delivering our Digital Programming.