Digital Equity

Digital equity seeks to ensure all residents & neighborhoods have the information technology capacity needed for civic and cultural participation, employment, lifelong learning, and access to essential services.  

Benefits & Problems Addressed

Quality of Life for All: Offer better quality of life and empower communities through civic and cultural participation, consumer savvy, and on-the-go education.

Everyone as "Digital Native:" Through social networking, services, education on mobile devices, everyone is further on the digital learning curve as technology continuously advances.

Governing in Peoples' Hands: Clear the way for more self-sufficient residents, community-based organizations, and small businesses who can conduct business and service requests without intense resources. 

Tip & Techniques

Baseline skills: Create and deliver technology education & skills not only in technology, but content topics such as access to employment, entrepreneurship, lifelong learning, civic engagement, and use of essential online services.

Devices & Technical Support: Ensure affordable, available, and sufficient devices and widespread technical support. across the enterprise at many community centers.  

WiFi and Broadband Connectivity: Ensure sufficient options for affordable and available internet connectivity taking advantage of community facilities, public space and private sponsors.

Access to Devices: Expand availability of low-cost devices (smart phones tablets, laptops) via equipment refurbishment programs,

Responsive Design: Make sure government websites work on all devices since many familes use smart phone plans as the main/sole source of internet (Pew).

Hot Buttons;  Smart phone access across the demographic spectrum (age, income); Many users rely on no-contract plans and phones with fewer features and storage; a consideration for the number and design of apps.


Seattle, Washington Digital Equity Initiative

Kansas City Digital Inclusion: Kansas City MO, US

Pew Research Center for Internet, Science & Tech