Monday, July 15, 2024

Wenatchee Senior Center, NCW Tech Alliance partner to assist seniors with technology

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WENATCHEE — The Wenatchee Valley Senior Activity Center is teaming up with the NCW Tech Alliance to offer valuable technology assistance to seniors in an in-person pop-up event scheduled for Nov. 29 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

This free pop-up event will provide local seniors, as well as members of the broader community, with the opportunity to engage with a Digital Navigator who can help address their technology-related queries. Digital Navigators are individuals trained to identify community members who may be at risk of losing access to essential services due to a lack of internet access, digital tools, or knowledge of online services.

The initiative is an integral part of the NCW Tech Help program, a coordinated effort led by the Tech Alliance. This program acts as a one-stop resource for information on affordable internet access, free or reasonably priced digital devices, technology training, and one-on-one technical support.

According to the program's website, ncwtechhelp.org, "NCW Tech Help is paving the way for a more connected tomorrow, where everyone has access to digital skills, devices, and the internet." The program extends its services to residents in Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan counties, as well as the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation.

Russ Alman, the Director of Communications and Development for the Senior Center, also serves as a policy board member for the Tech Alliance. He expressed his motivation for the initiative, saying, "Many of my clients were seniors needing basic help accessing the internet and online services. From that experience, I've been very aware of the 'digital divide' that many seniors face. As more and more services move online, many seniors are being left behind. Internet access and technology literacy are becoming a basic requirement to access everything from paying bills to accessing the library to receiving health services."

Alman has high hopes for the Senior Center and the Tech Alliance to establish a long-term partnership that will regularly host pop-up events starting in 2024. "We squeezed in this first event at the beginning of the holiday season for 2023," but I'm hopeful that we can continue to build on this for the upcoming year," he said.

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