Comcast announced this week that it was expanding its Internet Essentials program, a low-cost internet offering for economically disadvantaged residents, to help address a digital divide for Americans with disabilities.
The largest of the series of initiatives comes from a grant to the American Association for People with Disabilities (AAPD), the company said. The partnership includes the creation and delivery of digital literacy training programs that address the digital needs of residents within the low-income disability community.
Once the programs are developed, they will be delivered at 10 AAPD affiliates across the country, and will be shared online for anyone to access.
“By partnering with AAPD and working with the disability community, we want to address and break down the barriers to broadband adoption that are unique to this population,” said David L. Cohen, senior EVP and chief diversity officer at Comcast.
Comcast cited data from the Pew Research Center that indicated 23% of people with disabilities said they never go online. Another 57% said they do not have a home broadband subscription.
Earlier this summer, Comcast’s Internet Essentials program also expanded to about three million more households across the country.
“Having an internet connection at home is absolutely vital for low-income people living with disabilities,” said Maria Town, president and CEO of the AAPD. “[The expansion] will help us advance our mission to provide equal access, integration, and full inclusion for Americans with disabilities.”-30-
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