Meet Emma Woods, digital inclusion fellow

Digital equity in Indiana is important because it’s necessary for access to essential services, civil and cultural participation, education and employment. This is why I am very excited to now be serving the Indiana State Library as their digital inclusion fellow!

I am an Americorps member serving through the American Connection Corps program run by the Purdue Center for Regional Development and Lead for America. In my previous role, I served the Uplands region of Indiana in developing county and regional-level digital inclusion plans.

I graduated from the University of Southern Indiana in the fall of 2021 with a bachelor of arts in political science and a minor in public relations. While in college, I found my passion for community building through my involvement in student organizations. This experience through Americorps has allowed me to continue growing my community organizing skills and make a difference in Indiana.

While serving with the library, I will be curating a digital inclusion plan for the state organization and presenting a three-part webinar series on what digital inclusion is, what resources are available and community implementation of digital inclusion strategies. I will also be promoting the various digital equity and inclusion programs within the libraries. I have included theses resources below as well!

Affordable Connectivity Program
The Affordable Connectivity Program is a Federal Communications Commission benefit program that helps ensure that households can afford the broadband they need for work, school, healthcare and more.

The benefit provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.

More information can be found here. Click here to apply.

FCC Map Challenge
Recently, the FCC released a map showing broadband availability across the U.S. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration will use this map to guide the distribution of funding for building broadband infrastructure through programs such as the $42.5 billion Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment program. To make sure that the funding reaches the areas that need broadband most, residents and businesses are being asked to look at the map and verify that the information is correct.

Click here to view the map and to validate information. More information about the challenge process can be found here.

Indiana’s Digital Equity Plan Survey
As more activities take place online, it’s important that everyone has equal access so that all can take part in our society and economy. A survey about your electronic devices, internet access and use, and the difficulties you face will provide information for Indiana’s first-ever digital equity plan. The 10-minute survey can be found here. This is your opportunity to help Indiana become a state where digital equity is a reality!

This blog post was written by Emma Woods, digital inclusion fellow, Indiana State Library.