The Table Solution: A Non-Tech Solution to Digital Inclusion Hurdles
As the Director of Digital Inclusion at Computer Reach, I have had the privilege of witnessing firsthand the profound transformation that occurs when our end-users are guided through their journey to digital inclusion.
Most of the work of planning and implementing digital inclusion initiatives, like our digital navigator program, often revolves around critical aspects such as project management, data analysis, program evaluation, customized digital skills training, and ongoing tech support. Yet, in the midst of all this structured work, it’s all too easy to overlook seemingly minor factors that exert an outsized influence, especially when it comes to serving individuals who are already experiencing challenging circumstances.
One of those seemingly minor factors that came to light for us at Computer Reach was that many of our end-users lacked a suitable table or piece of furniture to place and use the computers they were to receive through our digital navigator program. While this might seem like a minor detail, it was a significant hurdle.
Without a stable surface, using computers would be uncomfortable and, at times, impossible for our end-users. Recognizing this, we began providing tables to those who needed them as part of our digital navigator services. The effect was nothing short of transformative. These tables provided not only a practical solution but also an unspoken message of inclusivity. With a dedicated workspace, end-users could comfortably immerse themselves in their digital journey–opening up opportunities that would have otherwise been out of reach.
When it comes to providing these types of non-tech solutions to digital inclusion hurdles, it’s key to remind ourselves that the impact of our digital navigator programs go far beyond providing computer devices, and teaching computer and digital skills; it’s about redefining what’s possible for our end-users. By recognizing and addressing even the smallest challenges, we are carving a more inclusive path for them.
As we move forward, let us all, fellow digital inclusion practitioners, remember that transformation begins with understanding the needs of those we aim to empower. It’s my hope that Computer Reach’s experience will inspire others to create spaces of belonging and inclusion, empowering end-users to navigate the digital landscape with grace and confidence.
by Will Perez, Digital Inclusion Director, Computer Reach