Digital Inclusion Week 2017 Connects the Community


AFN was excited to be a part of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance’s  Digital Inclusion Week Celebration, May 8-13 2017. More than 200 people participated in activities we hosted to raise awareness of digital inequities and the efforts to close those gaps.

Throughout the week, AFN teamed up with the City of Austin, the Housing Authority of the City of Austin, Skillpoint Alliance, and Google Fiber. The festivities kicked off with a Proclamation presented by Mayor ProTem Kathie Tovo at the City Council Chambers.  Activities included a Cyber Seniors free movie screening, a Smartphone Training and Digital Inclusion Symposium.  The week- long event ended with ten people winning digital devices such as laptops at the Digital Resource Fair held at Doris Miller Auditorium.

Photo of Digital Resource Fair device winner

Juanita Budd (AFN) and Catherine Crago (HACA) congratulate a device winner.

“Austin Free-Net is committed to providing digital access and training to the community,” said Juanita Budd, AFN Executive Director.  “We hope that our programming for the week sparks more individuals and organizations to support digital inclusion in the future.”

AFN also premiered a new Digital Inclusion Public Service Announcement. What does the internet mean to you? That is a question we posed to recent Austin Free-Net computer lab users and training clients to highlight the need for universal broadband and digital literacy in Austin. You can view it here on our YouTube Channel.

Using the internet is becoming a necessity across more and more facets of life. It’s used to complete homework, search for and apply for jobs, connect with family and friends and access government programs, according to EveryoneOn.  Despite the growing importance of the internet in American life, 28 percent of Americans do not use the Internet at all. Fifty-five thousand Austinites do not have internet access; for public housing families in Austin, fewer than 30 percent of households own a computer, and only 15 percent have an internet connection.

You can support AFN’s mission to break down digital barriers by donating, volunteering or signing up for our monthly newsletter.

Digital Inclusion Week 2017 – Photo Highlights