Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley and North Shore has a new program to provide individuals with a free computer, training, and internet services through a partnership with Fidelity House Human Services & Career Resources Corporation of Haverhill.
The Digital Access Program is designed to bridge the digital divide between those who can access the online world and those who cannot. Participants receive a tablet computer, a data package if needed, and in-person training about using the computer and the internet—free of charge.
“We are deeply grateful to the NiSource Charitable Foundation Fund for Merrimack Valley and The George C. Wadleigh Foundation, Inc., the sources of the funds to make this opportunity possible,” says Elder Services’ CEO Joan Hatem-Roy.
The program is open to anyone, regardless of age or skill level, who wants digital training. Residents of Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover—the communities affected by the 2018 Columbia Gas explosion—are especially encouraged to apply, according to Hatem-Roy.
Training is customized to fit individuals and their needs, varying from internet basics to social media or learning the advanced features of Zoom. If participants need a data plan/wi-fi access, the program pays those fees for up to one year. If, after six months, participants are using the tablet to engage successfully online, it becomes theirs at no cost.
Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley and North Shore is a private, nonprofit agency with a mission to ensure the health, safety, and independence of older adults and persons with disabilities. We are a federally designated Area Agency on Aging and a state-designated Aging Service Access Point and protective service agency serving 28 cities and towns in northeastern Massachusetts. Learn more at www.esmv.org