Members of the Illinois Senior Internet Adoption Coalition representing 3,000 participants at 23 sites gather at the Elois McCoy Residence for the launch of a $6.8 million federal-state-private initiative to connect seniors and the handicapped to the Internet and teach them to utilize its power. (Photo by Brad)
The Illinois Senior Internet Adoption Coalition and Congressman Danny K. Davis (IL-7) held a press conference at the Elois McCoy Village Apartments, a senior citizen residence at 4650 West Van Buren Street, owned by Habilitative Systems, Inc., to announce federal and state grants of $5.9 million to help senior citizens and people with disabilities gain access to the Internet. The money enables residents of nine Illinois public housing authorities, five private providers of affordable housing, and other partners to embark upon a program to teach low-income seniors and people with disabilities to use computers.
The historic announcement of a dynamic program to connect seniors in subsidized housing to the Internet was made at the Elois McCoy Village Apartments on Chicago’s West Side. (Photo by Brad)
Congressman Davis explained that seniors and the handicapped “need adequate, affordable access to the tools of the 21st century. This project represents a powerful way to close the digital divide by increasing computer training and high-speed Internet availability in our Illinois communities.”
Donald Dew, Exec. Dir. of Habilitative Systems, Inc., declares that the broadband adoption project will help prevent seniors from becoming isolated and disconnected from family and the world around them. (Photo by Brad)
The program funds new computer equipment, Internet access, and Connected Living training classes for more than 3,000 residents of low income housing in Northern Illinois. Connected Living by MyWay Village, Inc., is the grant recipient and is responsible for the implementation of the program at the 23 rural, suburban, and inner city sites in Illinois over the next 24 months. MyWay Village, Inc., is a comprehensive technology adoption program that combines simplified technology with engaging training content and curriculum delivered by ambassadors who are expert at getting first-time users online.Reneta Wilson, Executive Director of Sankofa Safe Child Initiative, tells how her agency successfully uses an intergenerational approach to teach seniors and children in its residence how to utilize computers. She notes that Chicago’s 7th Congressional District has more children living with people other than their parents than anywhere else in America. (Photo by Brad)
Low-income seniors and people with disabilities will gain computer skills, improved communication with family and friends, and better access to valuable information, education, and health services. Trainees who pass a basic computer proficiency test will receive a highly discounted computer and Internet service.
West Side Chicago partners in the Coalition include:
• Bethel New Life
• Sankofa Safe Child
More than $4.7 million in federal funding was awarded competitively through the U.S. Dept. of Commerce’s National Telecommunications & Information Administration. More than $1.2 million in Illinois Jobs Now! public works funding provides the financial support needed to secure the federal award for Illinois, and coalition partners are contributing an additional $900,000 in matching funds, bringing the total project value to $6.8 million.
Congressman Danny K. Davis says this is an exciting day because it provides senior citizens & people with disabilities “adequate, affordable access to the tools of the 21st century.” He was asked by HUD to serve as the spokesman on health for people living in subsidized housing. (Photo by Brad)