NYCHA’s 6th ANNUAL SENIOR BENEFIT & ENTITLEMENT FAIR Encouraged Seniors to “Expand Your World” Through Technology
On Tuesday, September 21, 1,500 senior residents of The New York City Housing Authority were able to get hands-on experience with The Internet, Google, Facebook, and Twitter and learn how new devices like iPods, Wii and digital cameras can improve the quality of their lives at NYCHA’s 6th Annual Senior Benefit & Entitlement Fair held at Riverbank State Park.
Columbia University’s Office of Government and Community Affairs, and the Center for Technology, Innovation and Community Engagement (CTICE), part of the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, in partnership with Per Scholas and Digital Divide Partnership, made wireless broadband available for the Fair through creating a public Wi-Fi Hot Spot at Riverbank State Park for the first time ever.
Per Scholas provided laptops and volunteer instructors who led hands-on workshops with computers, cell phones, digital cameras, and other mobile devices. Seniors also received guides on how to shop for and use common digital devices.
According to Kenneth L. Walker, Vice President, Strategic Partnerships, Per Scholas, “There are a number of stories that I can share with you about my interaction with seniors but one sticks out in my mind. One 85 year old senior citizen came up to John Rhea, Chairman at NYCHA and talked to him about a number of things, one of which was getting signed up for an email account. John asked for my assistance in getting her setup. Upon getting her free Gmail email address she immediately sent both John and I an email, letting us know that she was now connected. The theme of the fair, “Expand Your World” could not have been more effectively demonstrated than by this wonderful story of getting a senior connected to the world of the internet.”
Photo above courtesy of NYCHA. Senior Photographer, Pete Mikoleski