In a collaborative effort with Standup Wireless, a provider of the program supported by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the City of East Point aims to make communication services more affordable for low-income consumers and ensure their access to 21st-century broadband services. This event represents the second time the City of East Point organized a giveaway of free Android tablets for seniors.
The brainchild behind this initiative is councilmember Sharon Shropshire, who expressed her desire to empower seniors with technology, fostering a more interconnected and all-encompassing community, and aiding them in thriving in today’s digital era.
“This is what we are tasked to do – to give back to the community. Anytime that we can give back to the residents, we are also up for it,” Shropshire stated.
A significant number of senior citizens flocked to the city hall Tuesday morning. Among the seniors looking to secure a tablet was J.D. Trump, a local resident who arrived at the initiative around 8:45 a.m. and shared his insights on the substantial impact these tablets could have on his life and the lives of many senior citizens. “I only have a cell phone, so having the tablets will provide more assets to go online. I don’t have what they call too many megabytes on my phone,” Trump said, emphasizing the event’s value.
Deeming the event a “good idea” and encouraging participation, Trump emphasized the significance of keeping up with the times, as technological literacy holds increasing importance in the contemporary world. “Well, most require computer illiteracy. So if you don’t try to keep up with your time, you’ll be left behind,” Trump continued.
To be eligible for this initiative, senior citizens were required to present a valid ID and demonstrate their low-income status through programs such as SNAP (EBT), Medicaid, Section 8, or Veteran Benefits. While tablet recipients were subject to a one-time activation fee of $10.01, they were entitled to complimentary monthly data.
Even in their golden age, the older generation received guidance from the younger one, with Aiden Jai, a 24-year-old sales representative from the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), among the staff members aiding in the application process and offering support related to the tablet devices. Collaborating with Shropshire, Jai expressed immense satisfaction in assisting people, particularly in providing senior citizens access to technology, and emphasized the user-centric approach employed in the initiative.
“It’s a great experience, being able to help people. Just having the feeling of handing somebody that tablet and being able to give them that feeling of having accessible accessibility to technology,” Jai told.
The initiative extended beyond tablet distribution by partnering with Bridging Technologies, which will be offering classes and workshops to educate recipients on device usage, starting on an undecided date in November.
“It’s been a great experience for me. I really just like helping people. So if I’m able to in any way, I’ll just try it,” Jai told The Atlanta Voice.
While most attendees sought a way to stay informed about the world, Dolores Searcy, a 70-year-old resident of East Point the past 20 years, came with the intention of using her tablet to maintain a birthday list and connect with people. “To do my birthday list, which I can use to put people’s birthday dates in and call them, and to also receive information and learn a few things that are going on in the world right now,” Searcy shared with The Atlanta Voice.