Special event set for July 15 to help close digital divide in KCMO; Experts volunteer to help residents find online access
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 28, 2017
A community event to help people gain access to low-cost internet, computer classes and affordable computers is set for July 15, as the ongoing movement to get more Kansas Citians connected gains momentum.
Mayor Sly James will deliver opening remarks at Digital Inclusion Awareness Day, which will be held from 9 a.m. to noon at Mohart Multipurpose Center, 3200 Wayne Ave. No registration is required for the general public, but resource providers are asked to register online to reserve a table.
“Digital connectivity is the infrastructure of the 21st century,” Mayor James said. “When we ensure that every resident has access, knowledge, and affordable resources — we strengthen our economy, our quality of life, and our community.”
The mission is to close the digital divide that limits opportunities for those without internet access. This lack of connectivity can profoundly disadvantage people trying to apply for jobs, gather research, complete school assignments or even communicate on a day-to-day basis.
The consequences of living without access to the internet and the skills required to use it are real. A recent survey shows that 70 percent of Kansas City School District students don’t have access to the internet at home, with 28 percent of all non-users citing lack of access as the main reason they don’t get online.
Representatives of local internet service providers will be at the workshop to discuss plan options and assist residents in signing up for internet access.
The Kansas City Coalition for Digital Inclusion, a group of area nonprofits, individuals, government entities and business leaders, and the city are coordinating this event as part of an overall strategic effort to connect residents with available resources.
The agenda for July 15 is:
9 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. – Mayor James
9:20 a.m. – 10:20 a.m. – Panel Discussion and Q&A of Relevancy and Resources
- Panel Moderator – Aaron Deacon, KC Digital Drive
- Debby Ballard, Sprint
- Tom Esselman, Connecting for Good
- Carrie Coogan, KC Library
- Sheridin Jones, HAKC Resident (pending confirmation)
- Ron Farmer, CHES, Inc.
10:25 a.m. -10:30 a.m. – Raffle Giveaways
10:30 a.m. -12 p.m. – Visit tables staffed by various resource providers
For more information, call 816-513-6559.