Digital Inclusion Resource Collection
The Washington State Library is pleased to provide this collection of resources, based on elements identified by the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) as necessary components to achieving the goal of digital inclusion. Digital Inclusion refers to the activities necessary to ensure that all individuals and communities, including the most disadvantaged, have access to and use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). Elements critical to digital inclusion are noted below, with resources to support them. Digital Inclusion must evolve as technology advances. Digital Inclusion requires intentional strategies and investments to reduce and eliminate historical, institutional and structural barriers to access and use technology.
Affordable Internet Service & Appropriate Devices
List of offers from ISP that will help low-income households to acquire service at low or no cost. Most have eligibility limitations linked to income or program enrollment. The list also includes established, nationally available low-cost plans offered by nonprofit organizations. This detailed list was designed to be helpful for digital inclusion practitioners, community leaders, service providers, libraries, media, and others who may give guidance to clients and constituents. It is not designed for distribution to the general public. We encourage an individual looking for low-cost internet service and devices to use EveryoneOn to find specific offers in their zip code for which they might be eligible.
Offers low-cost refurbished devices for qualifying non-profits.
Map of locations offering free community Wi-Fi; primarily parking lot hotspots, but accessible regardless of how users arrive at the locations. Some sites also offer indoor public access during business hours.
Collective of nonprofit technology refurbishers; AFTRR is a project of the National Cristina Foundation, a 501c3 established over thirty years ago and charged with the mission to promote technology reuse and encourage the donation of technology to nonprofit and school NCF partners throughout the country.
Powered by Connect2Compete which aims to eliminate the digital divide by providing high speed, low-cost Internet and computers, and free digital literacy training to all Americans. Website available in English and Spanish.
National nonprofit that promotes digital equity through device access, connectivity, and digital literacy and skills training. PCs for People serves individuals in need by providing affordable access to computers and the internet, as well as tech support and digital literacy training to empower people to use all the tools available to meet their goals for education, employment, and beyond. PCs for People also offers Tech Recycling for businesses.
Community Help Desk providing free technical support to Washington residents to help them engage in a virtual environment. Help desk Technicians are standing by between the hours of 9am - 5pm to support parents, students, elders, and all community members with problems or questions associated with:
- Internet connectivity
- Basic technical support
- Connecting to community resources
- Learning Management System (LMS) support
- Provide connections for hardware fixes
Support is currently available in Spanish, Khmer, Tigrinya, Afaan Oromoo, Amharic, Sidamo, Wolaytta, and English. Access TechConnect Washington by phone - (800) 216-1132, live chat - techconnectwa.com, email - [email protected], or Facebook Messenger.
Many libraries offer some level of technical support as part of their 'Ask a librarian' services or general reference. Use WSL's Find a Library tool to find our Washington local public library, or search for 'library' using a map tool like Google Maps, MapQuest, or Apple Maps (iPhone).
Digital Skills Training
From the American Library Association’s (ALA) Digital Literacy Task Force (which is led by the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy); Digital Literacy is defined as:
… the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, understand, evaluate, create, and communicate digital information, an ability that requires both cognitive and technical skills.
Northstar defines the basic skills needed to use a computer and the internet in daily life, employment, and higher education. Online, self-guided assessments measure mastery of basic skills in 14 areas. Test takers can receive certificates and/or digital badges when they pass Northstar assessments in a proctored environment at a Northstar testing location. When test takers are logged in to Northstar Online Learning with a Learner account, the Northstar assessment result page links to self-directed online learning practice for skills not yet mastered. Once test takers pass the Northstar assessments, which certify basic skills, they are qualified to pursue more advanced training like those offered by LinkedIn Learning and the Cisco Networking Academy described below, or industry-recognized certifications like those supported by the Washington State Library, described on our Learn, Practice, Certify page. Contact your local public library to request a Northstar Learner account, and ask about proctored exams. Learner accounts and exam proctoring are also available from the Washington State Library's Northstar page. English; WSL-funded subscription free for Washingtonians, many resources free to all.
Northstar has also curated a variety of publicly available learning resources that may support additional practice with their standards. No Learner account is needed, and no certificates are awarded.
Created by the Public Library Association, offers short, online, self-paced courses and other learning tools to help make technology work for you. English and Spanish; free to all.
For almost 20 years, the Goodwill Community Foundation (GCF) has helped millions around the world learn the essential skills they need to live and work in the 21st century. From Microsoft Office and email, to reading, math, and more—GCFLearnFree.org offers more than 200 topics, including more than 2,000 lessons, more than 1,000 videos, and more than 50 interactives and games. English, Spanish, and Portuguese; free to all.
Resource for anyone with basic reading skills who wants to learn the fundamentals of using digital technologies. Arabic, Bulgarian, Chinese Simplified, English, French, German, Indonesian, Japanese, Portuguese (Brazil and Portugal), Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese; free to all.
Building on the skills covered in Microsoft's Digital Literacy courses, online learning resources are grouped into 4 learning pathways that lead to Microsoft certifications; these are productivity (Microsoft Office Specialist certification), data science, computer science, and IT infrastructure (Microsoft Technology Associate certification). English; other languages may be available upon request; WSL-funded subscription, free for Washingtonians.
Provides statewide access to LinkedIn Learning, with content from the popular online learning platform, Lynda.com, covering business, technology, and creative. LinkedIn Learning is accessible free of charge with a library card from any Washington public library (including the State Library), via the libraries' website. English, French, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, and Spanish; WSL-funded subscription, free to Washingtonians.
In partnership with Cisco, provides access to online courses ranging from basic computing to programming and cybersecurity. Earn digital badges and prepare for certification exams; some courses may be eligible for reduced-cost college credit. English; free to all.
For more information about the WSL's support of digital inclusion, please contact:
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Funded in part by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).