Photo: Digital Access for All's 3rd year

Reflecting on DA4A's Third Year in 2023

Posted on December 14, 2023 by Cheri Coryea, consultant with The Patterson Foundation
The Digital Access for All initiative had tremendous growth in 2023. We impacted several important aspects of digital technology both in our region and throughout the nation. From January to June, our team facilitated the series's ninth and final National Philanthropy Scan Report workshops. These workshops featured individuals and organizations throughout the country working to close the digital divide through the core three essential elements: connectivity, devices, and skills training & support. Overall, the series reached over four hundred people and had twenty-five guest presenters. Watch the recording here.

In March, the DA4A team worked to provide a consulting experience for Emily Crump and Jada Ford, two students participating in the Study Away program at Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, in a real-life Digital Navigator Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) enrollment event. The students actively engaged in all aspects of the event and provided consulting feedback to participating organizations for improvements. Read their perspectives: Digital Equity is Essential and Transformational and Connecting Communities.

The first TPF Thrive & Dive - Suncoast Digital Navigator Networker Day took place in June. Eight organizations, 38 Digital Navigators, and other support team members participated. Connecting, learning, sharing, evolving, and strengthening happened throughout the day, and support for an increase in reaching potentially eligible people for ACP engagement was evident. Explore the vibrant photos captured by Dale Smith here.

In July, the DA4A team contributed by leading a portion of the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Week – Bright Spots and Groundwork: What's Working in Communities, providing learnings from the successful efforts in creating access points throughout the community to affordable internet/broadband for low-income families.

In August, The GAP element of DA4A began with the installation of ACP Engagers. DA4A recruited engagement members from TPF's Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading initiative, who started and continue to attend events throughout the four-county region to spread the word about the benefits of the ACP. To date, there have been 35 events, and thousands of people have learned about ACP enrollment benefits.

As a result of The GAP's work, in October, five TPF ACP Engagers became Digital Navigators through shared training from Brent Giangregorio, Client Services Manager at the Women's Resource Center. These internal Digital Navigators join the over 20 external Digital Navigators throughout the region to assist people in ACP.

Also, in October and November, DA4A supported National Digital Inclusion Week with thirty-five social media posts, five workshop sessions, and attendance at the Rural AI conference at the University of Florida. Work to reconnect with the National Philanthropy Scan participants continued to carry on the conversation to support current work and start a new journey into the future of Digital Inclusion. As we end 2023, we realize this year was one of immense outreach for DA4A, and we look forward to 2024.

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