With ubiquitous free and affordable Internet Access as its foundation, the San Francisco Digital Inclusion initiative intends to work with San Francisco's diverse communities to reach the following objectives:
- Support all San Franciscans in acquiring the technology and skills needed to use the Internet to access jobs, education, healthcare, government services and other information services.
- Create a more vibrant San Francisco by leveraging the Internet to enhance communication, empower new voices, enhance civic engagement and increase the connectedness in physical and cultural communities.
- Further enhance San Francisco's role in the local, regional and global economy by expanding opportunities for innovation and participation.
- Encourage collaboration throughout San Francisco by partnering with existing organizations serving the community, strengthening technology adoption and digital empowerment.
Digital Inclusion Program Elements
The San Francisco Digital Inclusion Strategy focuses on six major program areas which together promote Digital Inclusion and more broadly empower people to effectively use computers with Internet access. Programs will be implemented in collaboration with partners across the community.
- Free and Affordable Wireless Internet Access throughout all of San Francisco will be offered through a public-private partnership with EarthLink and Google pending approval by the Board of Supervisors and City departments. In addition to a range of low cost, high bandwidth offers, the San Francisco program will offer a free basic service, designed for reading email and surfing the Internet.
- Computer Ownership and Basic Training Programs will expand PC ownership for all residents and to provide the basic skills training that will help new users effectively leverage these tools.
- Digital Safety and Responsibility Resources will be integrated into all programs to encourage people to use the Internet responsibly while protecting their digital privacy and security. Parents and other caregivers will be provided training and resources so that they can actively guide their children's on line activities and protect their children's digital safety.
- Accessible Solutions will be sought and shared to enable people with disabilities, seniors and those who need some form of accommodation to more easily use a computer and access the Internet.
- Enhanced Digital Literacy Programs that go beyond the basics to develop and support programs that enrich users' experiences and enable people to move from novice to expert users, and for some to become digital innovators or professionals.
- Relevant, Multi-language Internet Content and Online Services such as the promotion of multi-lingual web portals, promotion of community based web sites, content development training programs, and new collaborations across San Francisco's communities.
The principles underlying the implementation of the San Francisco Digital Inclusion Program are to:
- Engage the community in a community driven planning and implementation process.
- Leverage existing community, governmental and business resources whenever possible.
- Include measurable outcomes and indicators of success.
Development and implementation of the digital inclusion strategies is a collaborative effort among city departments, the Unified School District, community-based nonprofit organizations, social services agencies, higher education, businesses and community volunteers. The San Francisco Department of Telecommunications and Information Services will facilitate the program development and implementation.
The Digital Inclusion Task Force was formed to advise the City and County of San Francisco on the technology needs of the community. Over a series of monthly public meetings, the Task Force is articulating and gathering input on the technology needs of the City's underserved communities and existing community resources. The Task Force consists of distinguished community leaders from business, nonprofit and philanthropy sectors with expertise in technology, affordable housing, community development, human and social services. http://www.sfgov.org/site/techconnect_tf_index.asp
For More Information
The full Digital Inclusion Strategy document is available for review
Please contact Emy Tseng, Project Director, Digital Inclusion Programs at email@example.com, (415) 554-5008 if you have comments or questions.