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Daily CSR

Daily CSR
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Advancing Digital Equity: Easterseals and Comcast NBCUniversal Partnership for Inclusion and Access


Easterseals, a prominent nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting individuals with disabilities in the United States, has been awarded a generous two-year grant of $1.3 million from the Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation. This funding will be utilized to enhance digital literacy training among young adults with disabilities participating in employment programs at seven Easterseals Affiliates across the country. Additionally, the grant will finance a comprehensive national study to assess digital equity and accessibility within BIPOC communities with disabilities.
To facilitate the expansion of digital literacy, Easterseals Crossroads (Indianapolis, IN), Easterseals Washington, Easterseals Colorado, Easterseals Arkansas, Easterseals Greater Houston, Easterseals New Hampshire, and Easterseals Massachusetts will each receive grants totaling $350,000. These funds will enable the implementation of digital literacy initiatives within their employment training programs, catering specifically to young adults aged 16-24 with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. Participants will acquire essential skills such as internet navigation, online safety, email communication, PowerPoint presentation creation, resume development, and proficiency in assistive technologies.
Furthermore, the grant will support a comprehensive examination and analysis of digital literacy programs offered by Easterseals' network of 71 Affiliates nationwide. The aim is to identify and promote digital literacy initiatives that have demonstrated significant impact and positive outcomes. This evaluation will be conducted in collaboration with the Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation and will inform future funding decisions until 2024.
In addition to expanding digital literacy within the Easterseals network, the funding will contribute to a nationwide study on digital equity and accessibility among BIPOC populations with disabilities. This study will involve the cooperation of Easterseals Affiliates, university researchers, policymakers, and advocacy organizations. Its primary objectives are to assess the current state of technology access, including broadband availability, as well as to evaluate the provision of digital literacy and skills training within BIPOC communities with disabilities. The study will identify areas where digital literacy inequities are most severe and highlight successful initiatives that can be replicated nationally to address these disparities.
Upon the completion of the study in early 2024, Easterseals and Comcast NBCUniversal will host a Digital Equity Summit. This summit will serve as a platform to share the findings and recommendations derived from the study. Its primary focus will be to address any existing disparities in equity and access that may exist within BIPOC populations with disabilities, and to foster collaborative efforts in rectifying these issues.
"Easterseals is honored to have the opportunity to work with Comcast NBCUniversal in our shared commitment to equity, inclusion, and access for people with disabilities through our partnership of more than 20 years," said Easterseals President and CEO Kendra E. Davenport.
"Digital access and literacy are critical to the children and adults with disabilities, including veterans and older adults, served by Easterseals nationwide. These digital resources are essential to breaking down barriers to employment, education, transportation, healthcare, and community that people with disabilities often face."
"Far too many people with disabilities do not have access to the digital tools and resources that will help ensure their full participation in society and life," said Dalila Wilson-Scott, EVP & Chief Diversity Officer, Comcast Corporation and President of Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation.
"We are so pleased to further our partnership with Easterseals to deliver essential digital training and further equitable employment outcomes for young adults with disabilities."
EVP & Chief Diversity Officer, Comcast Corporation and President of Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation, has been leading the collaboration between Easterseals and Comcast NBCUniversal since 2011. The partnership aims to promote equity, inclusion, and access to innovative technology, with a focus on enhancing digital literacy and facilitating success for individuals with disabilities, veterans, and older adults. Over the years, Comcast NBCUniversal has generously contributed more than $54 million in both monetary support and in-kind resources to Easterseals. This ongoing partnership is an integral part of Project UP, a comprehensive initiative by Comcast NBCUniversal that seeks to advance digital equity and create a future filled with limitless opportunities.