BBCOA Program Graduates at the East Los Angeles Service Center
  • February 15, 2024
  • AD Staff Writer
  • News

Empowering Connections by Bridging the Digital Divide: LA County’s Digital Literacy Initiative Combats Social Isolation

In January 2024, the Aging & Disabilities Department (AD) celebrated the graduation of the inaugural group completing its pioneering program, “Building a Better Connection for Older Adults” (BBCOA), made possible through funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

This groundbreaking initiative has already equipped 34 older adults with enhanced computer literacy skills, providing them with invaluable tools for navigating the digital world. 51 more are expected to graduate by the first week of May.

The program stands as a beacon of empowerment and inclusion with each participant receiving an Apple iPad and a two-year data plan, paving the way for ongoing growth and connectivity.

Led by the LA County Internal Services Department’s (ISD) Delete the Divide (DTD) Digital Assistants, the trainings are conducted across five AD Community and Senior Centers: Antelope Valley Senior Center, Centro Maravilla Service Center, East Los Angeles Service Center, East Rancho Dominguez Community Center and Park, and Willowbrook Senior Center.

By focusing on bridging the digital divide, the program not only enhances access to healthcare and wellness information but also cultivates meaningful social connections among older adults and disabled community members.

BBCOA iPad Class in action

Through hands-on instruction and personalized support, participants increased their ability to effectively use the latest technologies and came away with a renewed sense of connection and belonging within their communities.

Furthermore, the involvement of youth Digital Assistant trainers introduced an intergenerational dimension, enriching the learning experience and fostering mutual understanding between generations.

The success of the inaugural cohort has ignited enthusiasm within the community, leading to a notable surge in program enrollments. As more individuals recognize the transformative potential of digital literacy in combating social isolation, LA County’s initiative continues to pave the way for a more connected and empowered community, where every member can contribute and thrive.

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