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Digital Equity in New York State

This guide provides an overview of digital equity initiatives at the state level, as well as resources and materials to support digital equity practitioners across New York.

Overview

Digital inclusion refers to the activities necessary to ensure that all individuals and communities, including the most disadvantaged, have access to and can make use of information and communications technologies. This includes five elements: 

  • Affordable, robust broadband internet service; 

  • Internet-enabled devices that meet the needs of the user; 

  • Access to digital fluency training; 

  • Quality technical support; and 

  • Applications and online content are designed to enable and encourage self-sufficiency, participation, and collaboration. 

Digital inequity is a complex and multi-faceted problem, and closing digital equity gaps will require the coordination, cooperation, and intentional capacity-building of the many organizations supporting digital inclusion across New York. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted inequities in the access and use of information and communication technologies. These disparities impact individuals within a broad range of areas including education, workforce development, and healthcare. 

State government is an essential partner in ensuring that New Yorkers have both access to affordable, robust broadband internet service and the devices, training, and support they need to fully benefit from the opportunities the internet promises.  

In 2021, the New York State Education Department and the Board of Regents convened Digital Equity Summits to establish a shared understanding of digital inequity and create a joint vision toward achieving digital equity in New York State. 

The New York State Library will be convening a series of three roundtable discussions on Digital Equity in 2021 and 2022. These roundtable conversations are intended to be an opportunity for digital equity practitioners across New York to connect and communicate with one another.