New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio recently announced a $5 million investment, in partnership with T-Mobile, to provide free tablets and internet service to 10,000 senior NYCHA residents, and has selected OATS as the official nonprofit partner to help seniors use the devices successfully. Read the story here.
OATS is working to provide immediate and sustained support and training to all 10,000 device recipients, with the goal of helping older New Yorkers combat social isolation, access critical health information, improve financial security and access to benefits, and remain engaged with government services and local community resources during the COVID emergency and its aftermath.
NYCHA seniors will have access to a dedicated Senior Planet hotline, staffed by OATS certified multi-lingual trainers, for individualized personal assistance and tutoring with any issue or question they may have related to the use of the device, how to locate specific online resources, or how to perform a particular task, such as ordering food online.
OATS is also developing a brand new 5-week live, virtual curriculum called “Android Essentials,” specifically designed for use with these devices, issuing welcome packets and coursebooks, and making outreach phone calls to all program participants.
Additionally, OATS is offering regular virtual capacity-building sessions to local agencies who work with seniors, sharing what we’ve learned from hosting nearly 300 virtual programs ourselves to help community partners use best practices when offering virtual services and assisting their patrons with digital tools.