From Seattle IT:
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the Multimedia Resources and Training Institute (MMRTI) created a Family Digital Navigators Program that hired and trained local students to help the Yesler community progress towards digital equity. The MMRTI Navigators work closely with Yesler residents to help them better learn and be able to participate in the evolving digital world. This work helps families with limited or no access to the internet, who lack the experience to do activities such as e-learning, homework, depositing a check, looking for jobs, applying for benefits, and other critical activities online.
Assaye Abunie, executive director and founder of MMRTI, says that the MMRTI Navigators offer support so people can “learn, connect, and process the digital world the way that it is now.” This doesn’t necessarily mean they are providing the community with internet access themselves, but rather supporting them through the process of getting that service through resources provided by partnerships.
Partnership resources come in the form of internet access, digital skills, technological support, devices, applications, and services provided in a culturally appropriate manner. While the pandemic has made it hard to reach out to the community, this team of Navigators finds alternative methods of communication (going door-to-door, sending fliers, calling, etc.) to promote an equitable learning environment that makes technology more accessible and inclusive to the Yesler community.
Read Seattle IT's article "Family Digital Navigators help Yesler Residents Thrive with Technology," featuring the Seattle Housing Authority.