Technology Upgrade Fund to improve ACT’s digital connection and literacy
Thirty-seven recipients of the ACT’s Technology Upgrade Fund have received a total of $478,000 to deliver projects that will improve digital connection and provide more accessible technology for Canberrans.
Assistant Minister for Seniors, Veterans, Families and Community Services Emma Davidson said that the grants will strengthen Canberra’s community sector and improve digital literacy and inclusion for those most in need.
“The Technology Upgrade Fund addresses the digital equity gap, widened by the global pandemic, for at-risk groups in our community such as older Canberrans, people with disability and people with health conditions,” Minister Davidson said.
“It’s important we identify ways to support our community sector, and the Canberrans they assist, to create a more engaged, inclusive and empowered city.”
Under the Technology Upgrade Fund, the recipients will deliver projects such as:
- students experiencing digital disadvantage to engage with course material via their mobile devices
- software for a new rehabilitation practice for those with vision impairment
- digital literacy training program and a digital carer support program to seniors from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
- better outreach to at-risk people experiencing disability, homelessness, risk of homelessness, domestic violence, financial strain, and mental health issues
- improved access to computers for volunteers who live with a print disability
Communities@Work’s Director of Social Programs and Volunteering Ruth Zanker said the grant will allow them to establish a range of ways to access technology through our community pantries in Tuggeranong and Gungahlin.
“What we have noticed in our everyday work is that people’s access to and skills with digital technology are very diverse,” Director Zanker said.
“Having more resources will allow us to educate and build confidence in clients and ensure that technology is not a barrier to accessing services that are vital for them. We will be able to purchase printers and PCs to allow for the expansion of services at our community pantries.”
Executive Director of Health Care Consumers’ Association ACT Darlene Cox revealed that more of their consumers will be able to access information on their website with the help of the grant.
“With the funding, we will be able to upgrade the site to meet the latest WCAG 2.1 accessibility standards (Level AA) so as far as currently possible, people with disabilities are not disadvantaged by our web technology,” Director Cox said.
“The high calibre of innovative ideas and interest throughout this funding process demonstrates the need to better support and strengthen digital capacity across our community sector,” Minister Davidson said.
“Congratulations to all recipients and applicants. I look forward to seeing how these projects will create a more inclusive, progressive, connected, and accessible Canberra.”
The Technology Upgrade Fund was developed in line with the ACT Government’s Digital Strategy, which aims to support inclusion and connection through advances in technology and data.