Meeting #1 

Thanks for a Great Bingo! (aka, meeting)

You can find the video from the meeting below along with the slide deck and links.

We also ask that you complete your homework for meeting 1.   Find homework links below.  Completing this homework will become part of the data that we report to the State of MN as part of our final report.

Question #1

How does Gifts for Seniors connect and engage with older adults who face social isolation and loneliness?

Meeting #1 Agenda

Click/tap on the heading below to expand the information you seek.  

Meeting Agenda

Welcome & Introductions
Role of the Committee
Three Questions for the Committee
Gifts for Seniors
Tablets for Seniors
Three Legs Components of Digital Navigation
Discussion + Q&A
Meeting #2

Our Focus Question

How does Gifts for Seniors connect and engage with older adults who face social isolation and loneliness? 

Consider these questions and prompts as you consider this question:

  • Have you seen the impact of social isolation and loneliness in your life and work?
  • What are the identifying characteristics of this population?  Demographic, age, income level.
  • Can you describe any people from this population that you have encountered in your life?  
  • What is the housing status for many vulnerable individuals? Senior housing, apartments, own homes, etc.
  • How do you identify people who can use these services?  
  • Do you have examples of approaches that have been used to identify  isolated individuals?  
  • How do we engage with this community?  Are there advertising or communication channels that are best for reaching this group?
  • Are there organizations who should be partners in our search and engagement efforts?
  • Have you seen successful outcomes for other programs intended to alleviate social isolation. 
Links & Resources

Our Google Group for Discussion:


Amazon Fire Reviews and Resources

Amazon Listing

Digital Trends Review


Federal and State Programs

Digital Equity Act 

MN DEED Office of Broadband Development

Slide Deck

VIdeo Transcript

Gifts for Seniors Digital Connection Committee Meeting 1 – YouTube

(00:01) hello all welcome and uh we’re going to jump into things and try to move things along we’ve got an hour and a half and we’re hoping that presentation portion is only going to take an hour and so that we’ll have a full half hour discussion window but we also want to encourage everyone to make sure you’re asking questions as we go so we want to keep it pretty informal so ask questions as you go also feel free to put questions into chat if you if you’re more comfortable doing that so we just want to capture that as much
(00:35) as possible or if other thoughts you have put those in chat well uh we’re working through this we would also ask pay attention if you’re starting to have background noise in your own location put yourself on mute um and I think that’s the basics and Don do you want to bring up the PowerPoint you can probably cover most of the things already that we’re kind of the precursor here we go so again uh welcome to all of you and we’ll quickly do the an overview of the agenda welcome introductions we’ll
(01:27) do uh in short order here the role of the committee By Carolyn and Don three questions by Don gifts for seniors giving you a short overview to make sure everyone’s got good grounding on what it is they actually do as an organization uh overview of the current tablet program for seniors the three pillars of digital equity and inclusion will discuss meeting two and what we’ll be doing for that and then go into our discussion area as an overall team done the next one as we said that when we began you know
(02:09) please put your questions and comments in chat we really appreciate that and I think you will all know where the raise your hands for a reaction if you want to speak and you’re having a hard time breaking into the conversation please go down to the reaction button down on the lower portion of your toolbar and just raise your hand and I’ll be watching uh on the screen to see if people are wanting to to chime in on something and we will go from there and I think we’ve got someone else that has joined
(02:40) us yes Paul fuldas welcome Paul thank you so much for joining us hi there so um what we are going to do at this point is have each of you take a moment to give us your name your organization interest in technology for seniors and what is your favorite technology it’s just a little Icebreaker and to help bring some perspectives here so who would anyone want to volunteer to be first to contribute first my name is John schleiss I’ve been employed with gifts for seniors for six months now with for the office coordinator
(03:24) and um I would say that my favorite tech would probably be my phone is it’s something is what’s mostly used um and the I have some older people that I’m surrounded by that are isolated seniors and I’ve had the experience of helping them with their technical devices their phone their their tablets things of that nature so just getting myself a little bit better educated in how to help better explain those types texts to those isolated seniors so it’s it’s going to be a learning thing for me as
(04:07) well terrific thank you John Jamie how about you hi everybody Jamie Andrews I’m with the American choral Directors Association of Minnesota acda of Minnesota um and uh my interest in the the area started uh well post post the the conversation with Don my my band directing days that you heard some of already but uh uh actually uh after I I was a public school teacher I ended up running the education department for Minnesota Opera for many years and I got involved in the creative aging movement um and so have uh the you know the the
(04:53) art art making and the the development of pedagogy and methodology around art making with older adults and um had was starting to develop to develop ideas in terms of um adapting uh creative aging online in some way obviously this is pretty pre-covered um you know where because uh so much of creative aging is in person uh activity so when covet hit uh some friends uh decided to create a prime life Arts learning which is an online learning platform for older adults that that focuses on Art making for older adults
(05:29) so um and uh just learning what all that means what it entails so um and I guess uh favorite technology um I I mean I suppose it’s a phone um but I I don’t know as as a kid I would say my Atari love that thank you so much Christina hi everybody I’m Christina Kwan I’m the director owner of Phoenix Cove adult day and I work with the Asian Elders we have been a recipient of um your the gifts for senior Organization for many years I know that um I’ve had this company for since 2015 but we’ve our organization that was
(06:23) Hmong American partnership worked with gifts for seniors before I even started this business so um Carolyn has asked me to be on this committee because during covid we actually got tablets and Wi-Fi hotspots and have taught our seniors how to go on Zoom now you have to understand these are seniors that don’t speak English that can’t read and write that don’t can’t even and think they can’t learn and we were able to teach them they are still on Zoom today so thank you and so I’m thank you Carolyn
(07:08) for inviting me and I look forward to getting to know each of you and my favorite technology um I don’t know that I have a favorite because I feel like I’m allergic to all of them um but maybe my phone is the one that I use most um but if I had to choose one probably the TV because I can just turn on and off but if there is anything else involved I wouldn’t be able to do it appreciate that wonderful thank you Christina Joel how about you yeah thanks I’m Joel Prevo with Prevost Partners um I’m here uh as a person who I
(07:50) operated Senior Living Spaces from I was a regional for a bunch of assisted livings and then uh campus director for a long time in Minneapolis spanning the Continuum from Adult Day uh like Christina to the skilled nursing site as a licensed nursing school administrator so during that time I spent a lot of time uh focused on Innovation and Technology being someone who really gravitates to those things including like uh um we did a virtual reality program for seniors that that was all about wellness and calming and you know
(08:24) anxiety uh and it was really successful so I’ve I’ve always sought those things out um now in uh with my own company we do a lot of Consulting for a whole host of Industries but especially Healthcare being that that’s the background and I love doing uh the technology stuff where I I can and bridging that Gap and helping so this is a great fit and I’m excited that Carolyn reached out so we could um I could be part of this conversation uh my favorite technology uh it’s hard to pick I have a lot of it
(08:55) my house is is loaded with all kinds of smart stuff and um but I’m all about technology that’s simple to use so to Christina’s uh Point uh that it shouldn’t need a lot of um user interaction so like things that just happen automatically as you need so the example I have is we put in smart Shades in our house so the shades go up and down throughout our um our main floor uh according to the sunrise and sunset throughout the season so it always changes no matter what the season is they go I can you
(09:31) know I can schedule them but once they’re scheduled you don’t have to think about it anymore it just happens and that’s that’s beautiful technology and all those little things here’s my soapbox they all save everybody a tiny bit of time just a tiny bit and it adds up and for seniors that can add up to minimizing risk so there’s my lead-in to where can you minimize risk for safety and engage and of course the topic of the day social isolation isolation is a huge issue so I’m really excited to be
(09:59) here and part of the conversation um thanks for including me wonderful thank you so much Joel Paul what about you hi there um I’ve been on the uh uh on on the digital divide narrowing uh platform for about 25 years started with my mother who’s for never ever ever to touch a computer when she retired my son uh I by the way I just moved from the Washington area to Saint Paul last year and my son went to McAllister and that’s what prompted my contact with Minnesota so my son leaves to go to college my mother says to him how are we going to
(10:46) keep in touch he says email back in those days and he takes one of my old computers over to her house hooks it up to the Internet and my life was never the same again um so that’s how it started and then I taught how to use the internet um at a community college on an overhead projector before there were Labs um and I graduated 20 people a year who were dangerous uh who didn’t know how to turn a computer on when they came to my class so I’m very much into practical pragmatic I do have an engineering
(11:24) degree but I don’t consider myself a techie my son is my tech support and he’s very tired of that um I’m also advisor to teen Tech tutors in Alexandria Virginia which is high school students Helping Seniors with technology which was started by a high school sophomore when she took over an iPad and an iPhone to her grandparents who lived in the next building to me in a condo complex and realized it just because you handed somebody an instrument like an iPad that didn’t do it uh also co-weed of the tech club at this
(12:02) condo Community which is 1200 units mostly 55 plus so I have a pretty good sense of even though they have smartphones iPhones doesn’t mean they know what to do with them um and I met Don Frederickson back in 2019 when and I contacted him about senior tech club uh and uh we tried to do some collaborations but before covet nobody gave a damn they just assumed seniors can’t learn which of course is nonsense um and my favorite technology uh having been on the bleeding yet since before Das I hate to say it but it’s probably
(12:45) my phone and there’s not a day I don’t want to throw my computer through the window alrighty it sounds like you’ve got a lot to bring to the party thank you so much Paul Carolyn I believe most of you know who I am I’m I’m just um so thrilled to finally be meeting together as a group I um have five friends that I’ve known for a long time on here but also for really amazing new ones that I’m looking forward to getting to know better so just really want to extend my gratitude for each of you to take the time for
(13:25) these meetings um I guess my favorite tech well I guess for the recording purposes I’ll just say Carolyn dieter’s gifts for seniors executive director um my my new favorite tech because there’s so many that I I do appreciate I I got a new car or I should say new to me car it’s a 2019 but it has a heated steering wheel and I can’t wait to use that next winter so but thank you all for being here and um I will pass it to Don to introduce himself yeah good afternoon everyone I’m Don Frederickson
(14:05) um my organization is as Paul hinted I I have a an organization that I call the senior tech club um it just occurred to me that my last real corporate job in it was already six years ago and so since that time I’ve been doing a lot of training online training during the pandemic uh it was primarily online working with older adults primarily on iPhone and iPad technology so I you know I I oftentimes have tell people that I’m just a retired guy who’s looking at doing some good and this whole Space of
(14:48) technology I refer to that as my Ika guy and that’s a a concept that came from the book um authored by David buettner that’s called Blue zones and and that is a book where where the author has identified a number of locations in the world where people tend to live longer and in Okinawa Japan this passion for life is oftentimes referred to as the ICA guy it’s something that gets you up in the morning so that’s kind of my interest in um in in tech for seniors um certainly my favorite technology is
(15:25) my iPhone but my favorite one to to talk about is that every winter my wife and I try and Exile from the winter in Minnesota as most of you probably understand why and uh and so this year we had hired a 13 year old neighborhood to clear our driveway from the snow and and so I found a nice little Plug and Play camera that I could plug in inside my house pointing at my driveway keeping track of this 13 year old and his skills at um shoveling the driveway and it worked out very very nicely in fact I even gave him a tip I gave him an extra bonus at
(16:07) the end because he did such a good job so so my my favorite technology was that was a real simple plug-and-plate technology that I could view from you know from a different location so I too want to thank everybody for being here I’ve been able to partner uh some with with Carolyn and gifts for seniors and pulling this uh this effort together and so I too am very grateful for everyone’s participation Patsy back to you wonderful um and I’ll do a quick introduction of myself as well Patsy Bartley um I have my own coaching and Consulting
(16:45) business and I’ve done that for many years but I’ve also been running non-profits for the last 22 years I guess um and corporate work before that so I’ve had the opportunity to work with seniors in in needing seniors from a community clinic standpoint from senior support services and for the last six years we had an organization called shift where we were really trying to help people midlife on find ways to be able to move forward and and find their passion in both work and and life and with that technology was a major
(17:27) component to really try to help people make those transitions stay connected with people make new connections as well as new opportunities for them and with that being the case Dunn was one of the people that we met through that at that point after he went through a job transition and came with us and we started doing a lot of training for our shift folks over the last several years and even more so during the pandemic where we turned all of our programming virtual as as everybody else needed to do and Don and I got the opportunity to
(18:06) work with people from really very you know in their 20s we had a few folks that were young but the oldest person at that stage was 98 that we worked with and he is now 102 and going strong using zoom and staying connected and just vibrant as could be so um it’s been wonderful to see our ability to help individuals really gain confidence and competence utilizing some of these tools uh and Carolyn and I worked together over the years she was involved with our shift board at that stage and we did different things with gifts
(18:46) Etc so um my I have a passion for technology and helping people in general but seniors in particular because they get left behind and the with the rate of change it is so important for us to help them find how to utilize these tools keep it as simple as possible so the frustration doesn’t come into play and they don’t wear out their kids and um and and those that are caring for them because that will cause some major problems um something I would share when doing uh caregiving for my own father trying to
(19:23) get someone in their 90s to a doctor to have their blood tested every week when their Mobility is limited not ideal particularly in Minnesota right so we were able to become part of the test with in-home testing equipment so we could actually do some monitoring of all its vitals as well as other things and be able to really stop having to do all the face-to-face trips and still Monitor and keep him safe and get him over his I wouldn’t even say it was a fear I mean he didn’t want anything to do with this
(20:02) and fought us through the nail and ended up really embracing it and it reduced stress and tension for everybody because we were able to make sure he was doing well and doing okay but without the stress of really trying to move him from point A to B so there’s a lot of wonderful Technologies but keeping it simple is really critical um so with that I think we’re going to turn it over back to Don Carolyn okay so um I’ll just kick it off with kind of a bigger picture overview of um why we’re coming together to discuss
(20:46) digital Equitable um access for older adults in Minnesota so at the federal level they passed the digital Equity act and um it was first brought up in 2019 and then again in 2020 and since then they’ve pledged 2.775 billion dollars for the nation in this area gone oh sorry that’s okay um and then at the state level trickling down from the the feds they’re working at the office of broadband development through um our deed offices um on digital Equity as well and the initial round of funding kind of focused
(21:38) on the internet service providers infrastructure and bringing internet border to border currently they’re facilitating the development of a Statewide digital Equity plan to reduce gaps in both access device ownership and digital literacy skills education and that’s where this this committee comes into play there’s actually 100 committees that were formed throughout the state of Minnesota we’ll talk more specifically about what our committee is charged with in a few minutes here but this is all looking towards 2024 where
(22:14) about 20 million dollars or so is coming to the state of Minnesota and we’re hoping that you know some of those funds in addition to infrastructure will go towards digital literacy skills and internet adoption for for folks that need it moving on all right so um so I’d like to talk a little bit about the role of this committee um as Caroline mentioned there’s there’s actually a hundred of these 100 committees that have formed that are really chartered to um help the state of Minnesota develop their digital Equity plans but we have
(22:57) some missions of our own and and so you can say at that at the you know the most significant thing that we are asking for is that this group come together to offer some insight ideas and innovations that will allow gifts for seniors to to enhance the tablets for seniors program now this is all going to occur over the next two months really and during that time we’re going to ask you to participate in resume meetings um we we want you to have some understanding of the tablets for seniors program now that’s going to be easy
(23:42) because that’s really what we’re here to talk about today is to talk about the tablets for seniors program um there are going to be some surveys that we’re going to ask you to respond to that and we just ask you to respond to the best of your knowledge about these topics and then we have taken this whole Challenge and broken it down to three questions all right so these are three questions that we’re asking of the committee that that will occur over the three meetings of you know that that really comprise the work of the of the
(24:17) committee and then finally at the end the committee um and I’m going to point to Carolyn and myself are going to be responsible for developing a final report that will be sent to the state of Minnesota office of broadband development and this will then become part of their portfolio of information that they will use as they develop their the state of Minnesota’s digital Equity plan and then really as we continue talking about the role of the of the committee there is nothing there is no role more important than having you ask your
(25:00) questions because we need those questions to to spark insight and ideas and and Innovations and so as we share you know we you know there is um you know every you know every minute that we are together um during our meetings at even times in between the meetings are perfect times for you to pose questions about our program offering Insight ideas resources and and Innovations here’s the three questions that I reference right so we understand you know as as we look at at adding you know some robustness uh reinvigorating
(25:45) renewing the tablets for seniors program and more about that here in just a bit we understand that this is a big task right there’s a lot here but what we want to do is really put three questions in front of this committee question number one is what we’re doing today in that we’re sharing with you information about tablets for seniors and how gifts for seniors you know connects with um older adults who face social isolation and loneliness so that’s that’s our topic for today when we get together in our second
(26:23) meeting now we’ll we’ll end our session talking more in detail about this but here we want to in that second meeting we really want to focus on on ideas around well what does that technology or this population look like right what what are what do we desire from this technology and then within meeting three you know we’ve already heard from uh from our introductions that learning and teaching for this population can be can I just say interesting right and and so turn that in we’re looking for ideas
(27:03) around approaches that that we can use for this population to to get them moving along with this technology um Carolyn and I have created some tools for this committee um number one there is a website that you can use to stay in touch with the committee’s activities you can find the slide decks if you happen to miss a meeting you can find the the video recordings and more all right you see the um the URL link the address for um the committee down at the bottom of the slide so if you go down to the very bottom where it says gfs.senior
(27:49) um that is the home site but if you go to meeting one gfs.senior meeting one that will take you to the site that we have set up specifically for this meeting um other tools that you’ll use we are going to do some surveys these are surveys that we’ve crafted in um Google forms and even after we are done today we we have a couple of homework assignments that we’re hoping that you will complete and one that is is a digital inclusion survey which is not so much related to our senior challenge but this is one
(28:33) that that the state of Minnesota is looking for feedback on you’ll find that on meeting one of the uh the website by the way I will take you to that website here in just a second just so that you have a chance to see it um we are interested in collecting your resources and and if there is an opportunity for you to to share other organizations other people you know articles websites of interest to this particular topic uh please you know please share those and I’ll I’ll talk in a second about how you can how you can
(29:07) share those uh we have a Google group and that’s the GFS digital connection committee group where uh we will use that in order to distribute information about this committee about the committee’s activities and then finally um you know use that to to also share stories and share discussions around this topic and then the second piece of homework that we are hoping that you will complete is that as soon as we are done with our meeting today I am going to create a thread um on the Google group where I am going
(29:44) to ask um everyone to share the joy of a story about how technology has impacted the life of an older adult in your life I’m sure that you know those of you who have worked with older adults uh you know we have lots of stories to to share um and uh you know very similar to what Patsy talked about you know the person who is now 102 who is zooming you know zooming up a storm um uh you know those are great stories and we’d like to hear more about those stories um Patsy it looks like we’ve got a couple of questions in chat is there
(30:22) anything oh okay oh nope you got it yep um again we’ve got one that put the senior tech club Link in there yep that was Joel so thank you for putting that in that it’s clickable right and so that’s really what’s in there at this stage so people can get to that very easily if they would like thank you Joel and also if you want to just um instead of the long um address you can actually do gfs.senior techclub.
(30:54) com and that’ll take you to the the home page of the you know of that site also I’m hosting that you know all of this information on the senior site just as an easy way for us to to be able to publish that um that information as it comes together I wanted to give you just a little bit of a preview of that site so that you you you can get a sense of what that looks like uh let me just share that Airman all right and the site will look like this and and so in this particular case um our meeting one site I just created a
(31:39) simple little menu up at the top this is the meeting one site here um like I said you can you can come to these pages in order to um get a picture of the activities right of the committee um here’s our agenda um here is more information about our Focus question if you click on any of these headings you can get into the links um here is a copy of our slide deck right click on that heading in order to see the slide deck it’s a full copy of the slide deck that you can reference if you need to um here is the first homework component
(32:13) so if you click on this link here is the the Google form that that you can respond to and and like I said this is a part of a template that comes from the state of Minnesota so this is this is a survey for anybody um the point here is that all of the information all of the activities that that we have with the group you can find on this website I want to take you to one other place and that is I’m going to go to the committee home and this is identified in the on the slide deck coming up if you have a resource that
(32:50) you think will be useful to the group this is on the main page right so I got to this page by clicking on committee home right and and here I have a heading that says share a resource and if you click on share or resource this will then take you into a once again a Google form that you can use uh click on next It’ll ask you what kind of a resource it is and and so forth so if you have organizations or articles or websites that as a group we should be um aware of you know please share those and by the way we will be sharing these
(33:30) Resources with the committee at large and so that uh you know those of you who are you know are looking for similar resources and and are seeking you know interesting articles and so forth uh we will be sharing uh this information with the committee um going back to the slide deck all right here is that information about sharing a resource and I don’t have to spend any more time with that here and so with this I’m going to turn it over back over to Carolyn and she is going to talk about the about the gifts for
(34:10) seniors organization foreign okay so I I think again there’s there’s um half of you that have known us for a number of years and and half of us who haven’t so I just wanted to do a quick um overview of who we are in our programming but I’ll try to be quick to make sure we’re on time for our discussion today because really I want to hear from you all um we are a 501c3 non-profit located in Northeast Minneapolis right off Highway 35W and Stinson Boulevard we were founded in 1994 by Hennepin County
(34:55) um their case managers and volunteers had noticed that many older adults were living um dis emotionally disadvantaged lives and really didn’t have friends or family stopping by during the holidays so they had started a gift drive very similar Toys for Tots but something for older isolated adults during the holidays and so that that were the humble beginnings I think the first year they served about 100 folks and over the years it grew dramatically to serve the entire Twin Cities metro area we now currently serve
(35:30) nine counties and over 7 000 each year our volunteer Fleet really we have remained we started as a volunteer program and have remained very heavily relied on volunteer service hours there’s just two staffed here I guess for seniors and then obviously we contract out as we need to and work with folks amazing folks like Patsy and Don when we need to um and we engage the community at large with retirees corporate volunteers lots of families and other Community Partnerships um you know events both here on site as
(36:11) well as remotely um that holiday gift Drive I mentioned that we do every November and December is a big Community collaborative we have over 200 folks that either host one of our blue barrels or just a gift drive with their group and support the seniors that we serve year round moving on so our programs as I mentioned our big one is the holiday gift drive and we have a milestone year ahead of us this this fall we will be launching our 30th um gift Drive um which is exciting for us and we’re hoping to to have a big celebration
(36:52) around that we um during the other 10 months of the year um you know provide monthly distributions of gifts sometimes uh you know tied to the seasons or the holidays sometimes it’s something somebody really needs so anybody can reach out if they have someone who’s had a dramatic life change maybe a new health diagnosis and they’ve lost significant weight or gained weight they might need new clothing or if their microwave has broken and they’re unable to heat their meals we can provide a microwave
(37:28) sometimes it really is just a day brightener and some of those things came became very important especially during the pandemic um you know we did a lot of PPE and different types of care kits but sometimes the activities and the music and the books were just as important to try to help pass the time um also during the pandemic we we started receiving some funding for foods for seniors and we don’t have a commercial kitchen or anything here so it was just non-perishable um you know shelf-stable supplemental
(38:03) food for Hunger relief and gift bags and the cards for seniors we’ve been getting cards from all over the all over the world not just the country all the way from Australia and British Columbia um with words of encouragement as well as amazing artwork drawings poetry stories about family trips and pets lots of fun photos and then of course what we’re here to speak about today is our tablets for seniors program which really was born out of necessity once a lot of folks were isolating and um I know it was the only way that they
(38:43) could connect with the community and can you know continue to meet virtually with their friends and family moving on so who do we serve um Christina mentioned she’s one of our Community Partners and Julia who hopefully you all will meet at the next meeting um is as well she she she’s with one of the block nurse programs um we partner um with over 125 folks that provide Aging Services to older adults and these are community centers Adult Day Care Providers home visiting services our Meals on Wheels friends the black nurse
(39:23) programs the living at home network County case managers mental health case managers home health care agencies we serve the Minneapolis and St Paul public housing Towers within the city a number of senior living facilities independent group homes other non-profits a lot of culturally specific organizations that are are good friends um so lots of folks and within those we try to collect as much data as we can and we we know that we’re serving over 16 cultural and ethnic communities 100 of these folks are low income or on a fixed
(40:05) budget due to age and 96 identify as having limited social opportunities and so we when we get specific resources you know we’re very intentional and uh about connecting with who could use those resources most in best efforts to try to I guess reduce some of those disparities within our community so I I didn’t want to make it all about us I wanted to show you know these are the folks and and why we do the work we do um I just love the photos that we get from our partner agencies and it can bring us closer to the mission of as far
(40:49) as um you know why we’re doing the work that we do okay this is this is back to me all right so um it’s been my pleasure for the last couple of months to to Really dive into the details of tablets for seniors and I am just really excited about this program and so you know I’ve been elected uh to give everybody a bit of an overview of of tablets for seniors and and some of the details you know some of the missions and then try to you know establish what what we want to accomplish with this committee and then
(41:35) also accomplish beyond that so at its core level um tablets for seniors is really dedicated to getting tablets into the hands of isolated seniors who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford this technology and the hope is that these tablets can provide you know essential functions that will help these older adults stay connected and engaged um I don’t know if uh if any of you scan the Star Tribune this morning uh but there was an article in the nation section of the Star Tribune that talked about the Public Health crisis of
(42:18) loneliness and we’re not going to take time here um today you know to talk about that we’re hoping that in in a later meeting that that we’ll be able to drill more into that but it’s it’s it’s really it it’s really eye-opening where um this was the the Surgeon General of the United States is is really on the bandwagon about about talking about the dangers and the Public Health crisis coming from loneliness right so that’s part of what we’re trying to tackle um to this point established for seniors
(42:53) tablets have been provided to about a hundred individuals and groups um individuals meaning you know um you know tablets provided directly to an individual groups might be where there’s an organization that will put the towel but make the the tablet available for loan to um to an individual I think as we talk about this program that it’s important for us to recognize the profile of this community and I think it’s important because you’re going to hear me talk about things that are narrow and essential as as we look to grow the
(43:44) program right so so let’s you know you know let’s recognize that when we talk about tablets for seniors we’re not talking about a general population you know for the past six years I feel that I have worked with a general population and and and these are people that number one are not restrictive they do not have resource restrictions you know that would prevent them from buying technology oftentimes they’re not socially isolated although it can happen right and uh you know this population you take these three items you know the
(44:21) socially isolated the restricted resources you know this is technology that they really can’t afford um and then these are often technology novices you know we’re talking about a population that may not have ever you know had an opportunity to to use a smartphone own or maybe even use a computer F their workplace right so it’s it’s a very specific population that the program is looking to serve and then toward that you know when we think of of our mission then think of the mission as being pretty narrow and essential and
(45:02) that is you know the program with the program we want to provide essential functions that can help older adults these are people that fit in that population profile that we talked about help them stay connected and engaged and so at the highest level you can say that one of the things that we hope to become an outcome of the committee’s work and a outcome of more longer term projects is that we are able to take the tablets for seniors program and rekindle it recharge it re-energize it reinvigorate it and and
(45:46) have it moving forward more on that here in in just a second um there is a three-legged stool on this slide and this was not this was not my creation it wasn’t Carolyn’s creation uh this actually I I think Carolyn and I first encountered this um in a presentation from the Minnesota literacy group and their proposition was that when you have a program like tablets for seniors there are really three pillars or three legs to this three-legged stool um let’s talk briefly about those those three legs the first one
(46:29) is internet access and in general when we’re talking about tablets for seniors there’s there’s been two approaches uh one is there are situations where Wi-Fi is already available to the the recipients of these tablets but then there are many others where um we of we offer up or propose the affordable connectivity program which is the U.
(47:04) S federal government program that um that subsidizes internet access hoping that low-income households are able to take advantage of of access to the internet right so that’s leg number one we’re not going to talk about leg number one here today Beyond this discussion here although if anybody has any questions you can certainly raise that um leg number two has to do with the devices that have been used by by Tech for seniors um the device the primary device that has been used to this point is the Amazon Fire 7 tablet and it would be interesting um any of
(47:50) you that have experience with this Fire tablet just drop us a note in the chat window if you would uh or you know just uh just give us a note if if you have experience with this if you haven’t experienced with it you can consider it to be sort of a small general purpose but affordable tablet um gifts for seniors is able to put one of these in the hands of a recipient for about 75 dollars per tablet now we recognize and the world recognizes that these tablets are not perfect right that um this happens to be a review that one
(48:35) can find and and I get a kick out of out of the the summary statement of this review in that it says if you know that you’re getting the the fire seven um you know if you know what you’re getting the fire 7 can’t be beaten for the price right but don’t expect it to be an iPad right so it’s not an iPad right but but it does offer some good general purpose capabilities right and start that turn that end you know we recognize that that these tablets aren’t perfect but they are adequate for the current
(49:16) Mission they are a great fit from a funding gifting and donating perspective right um it also happens that gifts for seniors has inventory of these fire tablets and so you know we’re we’re not permanently eliminating other types of technology and in fact just for seniors as actually distributed some Amazon Echo devices for older adults that might be visually impaired um there are some Chromebooks in inventory but for the purpose of this primary project we want to keep our mission fairly narrow and essential we
(50:09) want to keep it narrow and and essential so what that means is well let me talk a little bit more about historically so so with the initial tablets yes for seniors worked with the rotor act group and that group is a a function of Rotary International and it’s really rep it really is represented by their young professionals program volunteers from Roto act provided setup support for the devices right they would set them up um get them boxed up ready for delivery uh Rotary International also provided some funding right for tablets for
(51:00) seniors but I do want to want you know you to be aware of the fact that there is no current rotor act effort around tablets for seniors um if you if you recall these are young professionals right and and you know all of the people that helped you know during the pandemic have been professionalized out of the area all right they are they are off to to other things so there currently is no effort around rotor act at this at this particular point when tablets were set up and the tablets were registered to a common Amazon account right so when you
(51:48) have an Amazon fire it sort of presumes that you have an Amazon account or they were registered to to a common account um the effort was to try and make the tablets as simple as possible with a main priority of keeping recipients keeping the users away from scams uh preventing them from going in and doing shopping because we know that these Amazon tablets are really tuned for doing shopping on Amazon stores Amazon content um and then once the setup was completed handoff was made to the recipient you know organizations organizations like
(52:36) Christina’s who then helped build the skills or in some cases it was caregivers who would help the recipients with the skills that third leg of the three-legged stool that would be required to to have to have people be successful with these devices and so in this initial effort there was a fairly limited set of apps and functions again narrow and essential right and so those limited functions include apps like the map and the calculator clock weather a couple of brain engaging games that that the older adults could use there was a photo
(53:26) sharing app and of course there was the Zoom app was installed on the device so that the device could be used for a zoom meeting and then as the you know as the devices were set up they would use the parental controls of these fire tablets to restrict access to these more risky apps right and those parental controls were secured with a password right so just some examples um we you know email was not enabled on the you know on the device web browsing was not enabled and um and that also goes to shopping on the devices where
(54:10) you know was was disabled right and so once again in that initial deployment it was pretty narrow and it was pretty restricted as the program moves forward um you know we can say you know and and as you know as we you know as we move through the summer and hopefully get additional funding for gifts for seniors moving forward we’re hoping that the skills more of the skills and the support programs for these tablets can be brought in-house to gifts for seniors so rather than relying on other organizations and caregivers to do all
(55:00) of the teaching right and creating all of the learning opportunities uh we we actually want to bring more of that in-house and that represents really more of a longer term goal of the the tablets for seniors program yeah I’m just going to jump in quick hair done I mean I guess what we’ve noticed and the reason why we’ve identified this um need in our our collaborative is that a lot of our partner agencies are smaller shops much much like we are at gifts for seniors and you know wouldn’t otherwise
(55:38) be able to afford to have a tech person on hand and so you know in in the early stages we really focused on partnering with folks that could provide some of that support um but we’re hoping to kind of be able to um you know build capacity by providing that support to many organizations and not just the initial support but like ongoing support as they continue to learn okay thank you so now going back to the the three questions um when we meet today you know we wanted to give you you know a bit of a sense you know of the tablets for seniors
(56:24) program right and about the gifts for seniors and so um in terms of question one um you know we’d like you to put a check mark all right by by question one done all right it’s done the next time we get together um this is an opportunity for us to start looking at question two and asking you to consider if you take this population that we have described socially isolated restricted resources technology novices you know we ask you to take that population let’s consider how the technology can help what are the apps what are the functions
(57:19) that we might consider to be the most critical so you’ve heard how the tablets were set up you know in the first round and you know we could be validating that but at the same time you know we we want to you know we want to get your Insight right we want to get your expertise in this space so that in meeting two our question is going to be what are the minimum essential skills that are achievable and essential for isolated adults that will help to alleviate the social isolation and the loneliness or stated differently
(58:06) um what are the right apps right for isolated older adults you know when you consider these are technology novices in in most cases that they don’t have resources to be able to afford this technology and they have social isolation and so as we get into meeting two we hope to raise some discussion within this space to to help us get insight right from this committee and so in in meeting number two uh which hasn’t been scheduled yet but we think it’s going to take place uh sometime the week of May 22nd I’ll probably look for
(58:53) another doodle right to help us schedule this we have our question um we have had some communication um since the really the beginning of this effort with author um journalist broadcaster Chris Farrell um you might uh if you read the Star Tribune on Sundays you will find a Chris Farrell syndicated column all right talking about finances um you will hear Chris Farrell on NPR public radio fairly regularly and Chris has done some research and writing in this space of loneliness so we’re hoping that that our schedules
(59:42) are going to be able to align uh Chris has agreed to to come in and offer us some insight so so we’re looking for that in meeting two um we um we are going to be Distributing a survey to this committee asking about apps and functions we want to know what apps you use and then the real core is what apps do you think our essential for this narrow Focus that we have and then we’re also going to have some discussion on our Google group email where we we hope we can get some threads going around this particular
(1:00:21) topic um and then I’m going to end my part of this conversation uh we’re going to get to um we’re going to get to some opportunity for discussion here in a second but um I do want to remind you that we’re asking you to to do a little bit of homework um the two items is we want you to take um it’ll take you about seven minutes to go through and complete a digital inclusion survey this comes from the uh the office of broadband development and so we’re going to ask you to complete that um that you’ll find that on the
(1:00:56) meeting page and then we’re going to ask you to share a um a success story with an older adult and and we’ll do that I’ll send out an email to the Google room um really as soon as this meeting is done all right so with that um I’m gonna stop the sharing and kind of turn it back over to Patsy and see if there’s discussion points that came out of the out of the group thank you Dan and we do have some different comments that have been put in chat which I appreciate that so hopefully you’ve all
(1:01:45) been looking at that as that’s been going through um and comments about the fire child that they have been by different people and it has been helpful and they continue to improve the uh the fire tablets strength uh and Joel I don’t know if you want to comment anymore about what your experience had been with that with your kids but it sounded like that that seems to meet the needs from what you saw yeah um like uh Carolyn we’re kind of an apple family now with all our stuff with our business and everything so we we tend to
(1:02:28) lean that way but they are they’re just too costly when you’re trying to have a broader reach so I think you know for the purposes of what you’re trying to accomplish they they’re more than sufficient um being that affordable and that I know the models have improved from you know whatever it was seven eight years ago from what my kids even had but even then um they they did what we needed you know we were using them for a little bit of travel stuff so they’d have something to watch um that kind of thing the streaming at
(1:02:57) that time was a little more of a challenge with them uh they were just some extra step you had to take to get get the videos on the device and that kind of thing but uh I know with being able to connect with other people and then just be able to access the internet um I think uh there’s there’s a they’re totally capable of that and it’s it’s the right the right tablet to be focused on in my opinion so uh wonderful thank you so much yeah thank you Joe for that I think one of the things talking about the changes to
(1:03:30) the the Fire tablet um um you know I I had one several years ago and now I’ve recently looked at the newer models you know it’s become more android-like you know so even those of you who um you know who you know might adore the the Eco the Apple ecosystem which I’m part of that too um there are there are quite a number of of functions on that um that Fire tablet that have become more Android like uh you know being able to swipe down from the top in order to get to that Control Center and and some other things have enhanced so yeah I
(1:04:07) appreciate your your comment Joel all right and Paul has his hand up several things uh my first question is when we’re talking social isolated homebound uh does that preclude heavy babers nearby being able to offer help and the reason I mentioned that my mother lived in a senior living community and they are the jungle drums were real well so even though my mother did not have a fax machine I could fax something to her I faxing it to a neighbor and also I had a friend who during the pandemic gave an iPad to her mother who
(1:04:59) was in a uh Senior Living facility Independence but because the Wi-Fi broadband could not listen to her church choir some days so I suggested to her she enabled the hot spot on her phone and she was able to use the iPad to be able to attend a choir so I’m talking practical issues um I I am very practically oriented um and so I’m looking to focus on the way to help people I did the first PC Recycling directory in 1995 with a small Grant to survey recycling efforts as a way of repurposing computers away from landfills uh and I
(1:05:56) was successful uh in helping get an executive order passed which enabled federal agencies to gift donate computers one two generational computers directly to 501c3 nonprofits versus having to First offer them to State agencies so I’ve been on the recycling repurposing band bandwagon for a long time and I believe that there’s a lot of tablets sitting around which can be repurposed and donated uh like I said My Fire tablet is at least four years old it’s a 10 inch Fire tablet is good enough it’s slow but good enough uh it’s
(1:06:45) Android based because all of them is on fire tablets are Android please so I’m looking to find out about your perception of social isolation is it physically so that nobody comes and visits or is it possible to have a faith-based Community member or a neighbor stop by to help which could greatly facilitate helping people during the pandemic when things hit at the 1200 unit condo Community I lived in before moving here we got 147 community members to volunteer within two weeks using a telephone treat to help bring in
(1:07:31) groceries and prescription medicines to older people so I’m a great believer in using all channels all means next [Music] I have sort of a bench on Android tablet also vibing on the bleeding edge a long time and I feel the pain of people having to learn new things so very sensitive to making it as painless as possible as simple as possible as ever cost less as possible uh and so I’m really looking forward to one with the committee members uh offer and also ways to perhaps do things a little bit unconventionally
(1:08:27) um so that’s how I show you I’m thinking Carolyn that maybe one of the things that we could do I mean that’s a great question on um you know defining you know since since we’re you know we want to tackle alleviate all right I guess it’s a better word you know social isolation and loneliness um you know maybe maybe that’s a question that we could park for a future discussion and and just so we have uh you know we have we’re we’re all singing from the same page uh Jamie I’m going to
(1:08:57) use the the music analogy there we’re all singing from the same page in terms of the definition of those Concepts what do you think Caroline and I think I mean obviously we um you know that’s that’s that’s the ideal scenario Paul that we want for everyone is that they they do have neighbors and different support systems in place I just know that you know from my work as far as researching um what resources exist in the Twin Cities A lot of them were focused on these hubs where folks had to um go to access the internet and have
(1:09:36) free devices to use and um you know the population that we’re serving can’t do that they haven’t even solved the transportation issue because Metro Mobility is curb to curb not um you know chair to chair so um we um we certainly have fulfilled requests for for people that are approaching us but then I said we were just very intentional about um you know where the devices are going because there is a limited amount of those that we’ve had donated so making sure that they have some support in place and so as as I mentioned before
(1:10:12) really as we look to to the Future and bringing Don’s help on is you know trying to establish some of those support systems but um you know we’d love to Branch out Paul so we’ll talk about it more as as we move through this process but we’d love some intergenerational programming you know some of the things you’ve worked on in the past so definitely it’s on our mind um but we’re just trying to like take this first piece and do it very well and successfully before we we expand what
(1:10:42) we’re doing can I just make one more point um my experience with Chief Tech tutors was they literally went to seniors Apartments so I am definitely cognizant of the need to have somebody come to the door to the to the place of a boat I’m just thinking that there might be some opportunities to magnify that considerably that’s all appreciate that Paul Christina can we ask you to comment based on your experience of having implemented the program and within in your community what else can you share with us
(1:11:36) so uh 2021 covet hit we a week after the governor shot all adult day cares down we you know as we all witnessed um fighting in the grocery stores over toilet paper over rice over whatever um we started thinking well what’s going to happen to especially our seniors where they can’t speak English they don’t have any transportation so we didn’t know how we were going to do it but we just um we funded like grocery bags ourselves and put toilet paper in them and just did whatever we had to do to just get
(1:12:18) food into their hands um and things that they can’t necessarily fight for so [Music] um we looked around and partner up with like at that time we were in Richfield and the Richfield Library did have mobile hot spots that were available for free for um residents of Hennepin County so we we tapped into that and then we were able to you know a lot of them have phones um and the for the people who didn’t have phones they also had a program where they can get the mobile laptops the Chromebooks and um we were able to secure some of those
(1:13:03) for individuals that didn’t have phones um it was just our way of teaching them you know and this had been it wasn’t right away because it was I want to say it wasn’t until almost the fall that um where we thought something had to be done they’re so isolated at home that we um found these resources and you know we had continued to deliver these grocery bags on a weekly basis to our participants and our elders of our Adult Day Care Program and that’s what enabled us to help um like I think Paul was saying
(1:13:43) um the skills part you know you we had to um be basically their I.T every week it was well I can’t get on to this site or you know I can’t get YouTube I can’t log on I lost um the Wi-Fi the connection between the tablet and the Wi-Fi it was just something every week so once a week we were there with the grocery bags once a week we were there to help with the mobile um with the um tablets um and once a week we kept trying an error of how do we connect them the first time we connected we use um Facebook messenger and that worked
(1:14:31) um because a lot of them even though they don’t speak English they were on Facebook because that’s how they connected to their families overseas and that’s how they keep up with their grandkids and kids um and uh We’ve you know kind of trial and error that didn’t work because we couldn’t get rid of sound because everybody was so excited to see each other even if it was just on the computer that they were just all talking at once and um did that for a couple weeks and I had to look for other outlets I think we
(1:15:05) tried um Google or teams I can’t remember which But ultimately found zoom and that worked better so then so then that took weeks to teach them okay this is how you log on this is the number this is um um yeah even pre-programming it for them and that they can just tap on the zoom link and it gets them in and weeks of oh I can’t hear having to teach them how to mute and unmute and you know because we would control them you didn’t unmute because they get too excited so by the end of the I want to say
(1:15:45) uh we’re into 2023 I think by the end of 2021 early 2022 we were so great on on Zoom that we were able to conduct um Adult Day services on Zoom so and we were able to do they love Bingo Bingo is universal I think and so if you have the word bingo in it they’ll log on but if you say exercise nobody logs on um so so we had to eventually call it a four hour Bingo session and we would incl and incorporate Bingo um we would do half an hour Bingo 15 minutes of exercise and then you know every half hour I have them come stand
(1:16:31) up and stretch and and do exercises and then ultimately we even had ballroom dance on Zoom it was just a lot of fun so through that I also implemented you know this was also in in conjunction with what I do for my family at home we’ve had cooking classes we had weekly bingo family bingo we had um it was just we had family dinners together and believe it or not we’ve had family dinners like we celebrated Chinese New Year with people from the United States people from Hong Kong people from China and we ate together so
(1:17:08) because we weren’t able to be together to celebrate but um it was quite a learning experience and and I’m um today uh even though we have in-person adult day Services we still have a few that log on for um um the zoom because they won we moved so we are farther from Minneapolis or the metro area we’re down in Lakeville now so um whether we can’t get them or they’re too far away or they’re still there are still people that are scared to go out so but they log on and they log on Faithfully as long as you call it
(1:17:49) bingo right that’s called knowing your audience good for you Christina that’s terrific and zoom was was and is a great tool that way so good for you good for you Jamie can you add any comments relative to how you see like the prime Life Learning and some of the other things you’ve been doing sure uh well I I love naming everything Bingo uh that’s uh um that’s uh uh curiously enough that um we had we we discovered it’s launching this uh organization we had a two-legged we had a three-legged stool but two
(1:18:33) mostly the technology side and then um the piece with creative aging is that there’s such a I mean it’s the inherent belief that you’re creative especially when you get older and that’s one of the um the real uh barrier for uh art making and and understanding the need and value of our making is an older adult that is I mean that’s just you know then then you compound you know add that to doing something on zoom on a crazy platform they don’t know and you know all sorts of things so um uh so it’s uh there’s there’s that
(1:19:07) that the social emotional side of it is very real um and uh you know what we were doing because we were a complete startup and we didn’t have the infrastructure in this in terms of connecting with people to go into you know rooms or community centers things like that to be that program assistant um you know we needed to make things as simple as possible and uh it’s it’s formidable you know for as a as a startup we didn’t have that capability we haven’t achieved it yet so um but uh curiously enough
(1:19:42) um finding finding as the as in terms of what we were doing in terms of the art form and our different Arts forms we were offering um we did create some methodology and pedagogy around types of art that worked really well and it we didn’t make some great success curiously enough we’ve never been able to get a dance class off the ground we’ve never um that’s really it’s really interesting I know I know I have colleagues that have done that but we’ve not had success conversely poetry has
(1:20:13) been one of the most um most successful uh offerings we’ve had and I think because the barrier to access if you can get past thinking that you are poet is really very simple and people were very engaged and um a photography digital photography because people had phones um or they they were it was easy to share in that way so um yeah it’s it’s interesting hearing all this because uh you know from our my own lens uh you know it’s I’m hearing all the the larger issues that we’re certainly struggling with as well uh but
(1:20:51) they all still they still they they all tie together for sure thank you Jamie well it looks like we’re getting to the end of our window here and does anyone have any final comments or questions and Christina just um you you just put in chat that you had to return them after the nine months that would be the hot spots correct yes great thank you for that Clarity on that Paul you have your finger up it looks like yeah I just want to say that uh I was attending a uh senior Tech uh program created by also high schools
(1:21:43) um high school students in New York City and they had 30 80 year olds doing Tick Tock dances on video on Zoom so I think that uh I think video is the key and I think grandkids are the key because grandparents will do anything for grandkids so they’ll even put up with tech so I think that we have opportunities to get seniors uh to uh to do to deal with the frustration of tech and and with with creatively helping them so I think we have a tremendous opportunity here just my two cents that’s terrific that
(1:22:32) I actually started helping a neighbor of mine uh a couple of months ago she was having problems with her internet and also with her tablet that she was using her fire tablets so it’s something that I’m actually dealing with my myself and and and helping understand and the learning process of of teaching them so there is is little frustration as possible because all of us get frustrated when we can’t figure out something that doesn’t work and how the process goes and then have you know having that limited
(1:23:06) ability um you know is really you know a big deal so um I’m proof that I’m it’s I just ironically that this whole thing kind of started up and I kind of just had already been helping an isolated neighbor of mine so on if she didn’t have me she wouldn’t have anybody and that’s fact exactly and I think that’s something for us to consider too what are those ways to help engage neighbors friends family uh the rest of the community it’s a great way to connect and there’s value in it for all parties involved but what
(1:23:44) do we do and how do we have to support them um to make it as seamless as possible and overcome Language and Cultural other kind of norms that we make we might not even be cognizant of so terrific input from all of you Don and Carolyn any final comments so um you’ve got a little homework they were asking of you you know there’s one survey and and respond to an email um and um gallon I think we’re going to call the next meeting the the Bingo something about bingo Christina that was that’s that’s good
(1:24:28) training great highlights you’re gonna have a prize though you gotta win something okay so we can work on that we can work on that we can absolutely so we want to thank all of you for spending your time with us today and and appreciate any of the input that you’re willing to share and the survey input with your homework um and feel free to continue to add questions comments feedback resources as this is going on between now and the next meeting and thereafter any final count anything else from anybody before we wrap it up we’re
(1:25:10) trying to honor everyone’s time or Carolyn are you going to be emailing the the link to that website I I um I wrote it down but I’m not sure if I wrote it down right yes or was it there you can get that sent out um there might be some so Our intention is to um you know meet those three times and try to make the best of our time together but then also have some conversations in between those sessions so um feel free to reach out to the group and then um you know provide any ideas and resources I’ve already been collecting a
(1:25:47) bunch from from folks especially Paul he he’s really tapped into what some other programs are doing but um I value you know each of you kind of have different pieces in the community of how you’ve been using Tech with older adults so we just really want to kind of cast The Net collect some of these you know best practices different programming we’re not trying to reinvent the wheel here we really want I’m a collaborator so I really want to have a good collection of what what’s out there in the community what’s missing and and
(1:26:20) adopt some of those best practices so I’m I’m so again I’m just so grateful that that you guys have committed some time to this and really appreciate your involvement so thank you and look for our emails and our next doodle poll we’re going to try to get that meeting in before people take off for the memorial weekend I think is is our goal and we have a little more time for planning now um so sorry it was so quick turnaround last week but Don and I were getting our ducks in a row and and we’re finally
(1:26:54) like really um you know ready to engage with all of you so thank you and thank you to Patsy for for facilitating this conversation too thank you Patsy thanks I’m glad to do so okay so they can expect an email that will have the different links for the website and the Google connection right yes and you’ll be getting a doodle poll also coming up shortly about when the next meeting possibilities are correct have our other three folks join us and they’ll do a quick intro at the start of our next meeting so thank you everyone

Meeting #1 Homework - Complete the Digital Inclusion Survey

Meeting #1 Homework - Share a Story

After Meeting #1, you will receive an email from asking for you to share a story.

Please reply to the email by sharing a story about an older adult in your life who was positively impacted by computer, smartphone, or tablet use.  


Video Recording

Meeting/Question #2

How can technology help? What apps or functions are most critical to alleviating social isolation and loneliness?

Meeting/Question #3

What are important teaching approaches that will help older adults use their devices to be engaged and connected?

The Gifts for Seniors Digital Connection Committee

The GFS Digital Connection Committee was formed with support from MN DEED’s Office of Broadband Development.  The Office of Broadband Development has award a mini-grant to GFS which it will use to gather information about local digital inclusion strengths, needs, and goals.  In addition to the work of the DCC, Gifts for Seniors will be surveying users, organization partners and the general public to create a portfolio of information and data that will be shared with the Office of Broadband Development.  This information will be used to shape Minnesota’s digital equity plan for 2024. 

Click the button below to learn more about the Digital Inclusion program from the State of Minnesota.