I N S I D E
"We’re one of the most wired cities in the world, but there’s still much we can do to bring the benefits of this technology revolution to all segments of our city." -Mayor Greg Nickels
"We’re one of the most wired cities in the world, but there’s still much we can do to bring the benefits of this technology revolution to all segments of our city."
-Mayor Greg Nickels
Greg Nickels, Mayor
director, office of
D.H. CASS MAGNUSKI
LIHI-Sand Point team installs a card. From left to right, Jimmie Jones, volunteer; P.D. Lucier, technology outreach coordinator; Tony Ngobi, UW intern; and Frank Banks, volunteer coordinator.
Mayor Greg Nickels recently announced that six community projects will receive grants totaling $50,000 from the City’s Technology Matching Fund (TMF) to develop technology literacy and access for underserved residents.
“These projects will help low-income seniors, youth and families, diverse communities, the visually-impaired, and economically-challenged small businesses,” said Nickels. “The funds we’re providing will add better trained people to our workforce and bring more people into electronic commerce. We’re going to use new wireless and accessible technologies to include residents previously left out of the information age.”
The City's investment in this year’s projects will be leveraged with about $185,000 in community matching resources. Grant recipients are:
Council House Foundation for High Speed Wireless Network - Grant: $10,000; Community Match: $40,230 for training and free Internet service for low-income seniors and families in Hilltop House and Kawabe Memorial House. The project is a joint effort with Cortland Communications, Seattle Wireless and Seattle Community Network.
Jack Straw Productions for Blind Access Project - Grant: $10,000; Community Match: $13,067; for digital recording and editing workstation and training for blind and visually-impaired youth and adults, who will be able to record and edit their own radio programs and audio projects without the assistance of a sighted engineer. The project partners with Arts & Visually Impaired Audiences.
Washington CASH for Computing for Empowerment - Grant: $7,500; Community Match: $18,581; for goal-oriented business technology courses, individual technical assistance, and increased computer access for low-income business owners.
Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) for Sand Point Community Technology Center - Grant: $7,500; Community Match: $75,500; for computer training and access to 100 new residents of Sand Point and the surrounding neighborhood and stable program volunteer base.
Ethiopian Community Mutual Association for Computer Literacy Program - Grant: $7,500; Community Match: $10,000; for after-school tutoring and academic enrichment for children in K-12. The project will work with parents and will also support an Amharic language class by means of computer aided education.
Boys & Girls Club of King County for The Techmobile "Media on the Move" - Grant: $ 7,500; Community Match: $15,1862. Four hundred youths (ages 8 to 18) will receive increased media literacy and develop their own video/media productions, including community related media service announcements and short documentaries. Grant funds will buy new equipment and software and provide development support.
The Citizens Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board, which advises the City on technology policy and issues, helped set selection criteria and provided input on grant recipient recommendations.
The Technology Matching Fund reinvests revenue collected through cable franchising to foster a more technology-healthy community.
Seattle’s technology studies show that although many residents have access to computers and the Internet, some groups such as seniors, limited-English speakers, and those in low- to moderate-income households are being left behind. For more information, go to the TMF pages on our tech web.
Need free Internet access, email, web hosting or community resources?
One of the last of the community freenets, Seattle Community Network (SCN) is still going strong. For many years, there were community networks all over the world. Many have disbanded, reorganized or been swallowed up. That's quite an accomplishment. SCN survived the onslaught of dot.coms and the FreeI/NoPay offerings of “free” email, web site hosting and more. An outgrowth of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR), SCN is about 10 years old. They went live in 1994, and incorporated as a nonprofit in 1995.
SCN has offered free dial-up access, email and web hosting for nonprofits since the mid-90s. They've hosted more than 250 nonprofits and even now are considered one of the first places to go for grass-roots information in our area.
Their servers are housed within the Seattle Public Library (SPL) and there is a link to SCN on the library computers as well as several other King County libraries. In spirit and in practice, the library and SCN agree that information should be made available to those who seek it.
SCN Executive Director Steve Guest told us, "SCN is still here, willing to help give people that lift over that digital divide into the information technology age with an understanding and good heart. We still offer more than the Hotmail and Yahoo - and we are still very much Seattle's Community Network."
The City of Seattle Technology Matching Fund grants and the Americorps*VISTA Program have also supported some SCN special projects, including computer training classes and the computer giveaway program.
According to Board President Ti Locke, "By and large, we are an all-volunteer organization, supported by the donations of our users. Without the support of these volunteers and the donations of those that support us, SCN would not exist. It is nice to be able to thank them for their work while we still can."
Goodwill Industries offers free online computing classes. GCF Global Learning is a free web-based computer and career-training program for beginning computer users. Open to users worldwide, the curriculum focuses on technology, and the communication and interpersonal skills required to keep a good job. Take self-paced lessons or register for free instructor-supported classes. Some classes are offered in Spanish.
Free online classes are currently available in Computer Basics, Internet Basics, Email Basics, Windows 98, Microsoft Office 2000 applications, Microsoft Office 97 applications, Office XP applications, Windows 95, Windows XP, Career Development, Math Basics, Workplace Development, and Money Basics.
The WHO (Women Helping Others) Foundation provides funding to grassroots charities serving the overlooked needs of women and children in the United States and Puerto Rico. Priorities include specific projects and programs addressing health, education, and social service needs. Deadline for proposals is September 16, 2003. For an RFP, go to their website.
The majority of grants range from $2,500 to $15,000. Preference will be given to organizations with an operating budget of $2 million or less; those not dependent upon government grants; and those with greater organizational program costs than personnel costs.
The Department of Education CTC program is now accepting applications for FY 2003. Two competitions will be held under the CTC program for FY 2003, one for non-novice applicants and one for novice applicants. Check out the federal register for comprehensive information.
The focus of the CTC program competition has changed to give absolute priority to those applicants who will focus on improving the academic achievement of low-achieving high school students while continuing to provide a community technology center for all members of their community. Range of Awards: $300,000-$500,000.
The Washington Assistive Technology Foundation (WATF) helps Washington residents with disabilities obtain the assistive technology (AT) they need to live independently and to succeed at school, at work and in the community. Through its Access Fund, WATF offers low-interest loans for purchases of assistive technology and home accessibility modifications. The loans can be used to purchase computers with adaptive software and hardware, Braille notetakers, environmental control devices and other technologies used to maintain or enhance the functional capabilities of a person with a disability. Loans also can be used for related services such as AT selection and training. In addition to low interest loans, WATF provides tips on the selection and purchase of AT, referral to appropriate vendors and service providers and information about other sources of funding for AT. For more information, call WATF at: (206) 826-1038 or visit them on the web.
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We encourage you to visit the City of Seattle's Community Tech pages, seattle.gov/tech.