Community Members Invited to Help Bridge Digital Divide in Sioux Falls
Access to technology impacts many aspects of residents’ lives. But some individuals face barriers to technology that can effect everything from applying to a job to excelling in school. As part of the City’s work on addressing digital equity in Sioux Falls, the Inclusive Digital Equity Alliance (IDEA) is inviting community members to join the Alliance and be part of the work to address the barriers that Sioux Falls is facing related to digital equity. The IDEA Task Force will transition to the broader community Alliance as part of the next phase of the City’s work on addressing digital equity in Sioux Falls.
The IDEA Task Force was formed in 2020 to lead the City’s research on digital equity in Sioux Falls. Digital equity refers to creating opportunities for all residents to connect to the technology resources and acquire the needed abilities to fully participate in our increasingly digital society. The IDEA Task Force recently conducted a survey to assess how residents across Sioux Falls access and use technology. The survey data formed the foundation of the City’s digital equity framework.
“Digital equity is about improving the quality of life for every resident and visitor to Sioux Falls,” said Mayor Paul TenHaken. “Technology impacts virtually every area of our lives, but for some within our community, however, that impact has made it even more challenging for accessing and utilizing services and resources around the city. Bridging the digital divide should not be considered a luxury but rather a responsibility we have to our community.”
“One of the greatest challenges to bridging the digital divide is helping people understand what that really means,” said Mike Grigsby, Director of Innovation and Technology, City of Sioux Falls. “The digital divide is a very real issue facing some of our community members, and it limits their ability to fully participate in the society that is becoming increasingly digital. Finding ways to offer greater digital equity helps every member of the community not only connect to the necessary technology resources but also acquire the most beneficial digital skills.”
The main focus areas of the Alliance are: access to broadband Internet connectivity, access to capable digital devices, and improving digital literacy skills. To learn more IDEA and the City’s digital equity plan, visit siouxfalls.org/digitalequity.
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