Monday, October 26, 2009

The Digital Divide

The Digital Divide is affecting many people within the United States in various ways. The Digital Divide is America’s population that has access to technology and the population of people who do not have access to technology. Some are affected by the knowledge of technology and the ability to own such technology. Others have stepped in to a whole new type of digital divide that is between those with high-speed Internet access and those with low-speed Internet access.

There are many types of non-profit organizations that are working to bridge the digital divide. One of these organizations is called Charity in the Community (CITC). It is based out of Chicago and was started seven years ago by Henry Razor. Razor said in the article by Sandra Guy of the Chicago Sun-Times that, “Broadband access is a quality-of-life issue. We see people who stand in line or walk long distances to the library just to fill out a job application or do school work. If people -- and I'm talking in large part responsible people -- cannot afford access, it might as well be available in China."

With this organization a program was started that teaches local residents in the Chicago area the in’s and out’s of the Internet and the Windows operating system in a four month span. The people that have completed this program have gone on to get jobs that satisfy computer experience requirements.

In the article by Guy called Programs open Web access, bridge digital divide stated, “Two studies released last month reveal the need for such programs due to the continued magnitude of the digital divide: A report from the University of Illinois at Chicago revealed nearly 40 percent of Chicagoans have little or no access to the Internet, primarily in low-income and non-native-English-speaking neighborhoods.” That’s why the CITC program is particularly important to the low income and minority households that might not be able to afford such technologies.

Another person dedicated to bridging the digital divide is Andrew J. Vass, who started Technology for Humanity. This program brought the access of technology to minority and underprivileged communities, people with disabilities, and other people in need of technology. Guy stated in her article, “The term "access" means providing a variety of support such as mentors, trainers, internships, computer maintenance and other support networks.”

With this type of support and help from others that have experience in new types of technology more people will be able to begin to learn types of technology and have at least one computer system in their household so that the gap of the digital divide will be lessened.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009