Internet Access for Seniors
“The ability to go online has been a lifesaver, emotionally and socially,” said Ronda Russick, 75. Russick is the president of the Academy of Senior Professionals at Eckerd College (Aspec), a group of more than 300 people aged 55 to 95 who attend courses and discussion groups at the St Petersburg, Florida, college.In our beautiful studio, learn from our workshops, restore your body and soul with our classes, and feel better about yourself.Amada Holpuck for The Guardian September 18, 2020
AARP Northside Community Group moved their monthly meetings to Zoom beginning in March 2020 when COVID-19 forced them out of their monthly meeting spot at the Lakeview Presbyterian Church in Chicago’s Wrigleyville neighborhood. Since that move, we have averaged twenty to thirty participants, which while not bad, is also not good. At our in person March 2020 meeting we had triple that number of attendees.
While many of our members have successfully made the transition from face-to-face meetings to online, Zoom many have been challenged by financial and educational limitations. Many do not have devices like, laptops, tablets or smart phones with Internet access. Some have devices, but need a camera and microphone to complete their connection. Many need educational help to utilize all this sometimes overwhelming change.
AARP Northside Community Group agrees with Ronda Russick in the above quote from the September 18, 2020 issue of the Guardian, a British daily since 1821, and is presently advocating to change the 30 year old update of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, a grandchild of the Communications Act of 1934 which: “…calls for “rapid, efficient, Nation-wide, and world-wide wire and radio communication service with adequate facilities at reasonable charges” to “all the people of the United States.” Additionally, we believe this access, education and hardware should be at the discretion of the individual and not corporate providers—making the original intent of the 1929 law, i.e. the avoidance of monopolies, a reality and giving people agency in the pursuit of their well-being.(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Service_Fund#Calls_for_universal_service)