Gateway to Digital Equity

Digital competency and connectivity are paramount to our mission because seniors who are “unreachable” are at risk in this society.  Our focus in 2022 has been on closing this access and competence gap.  Foundational to Gateway’s mission is the new SmartSeniors/TECH© (SS/ST) project, launched in 2022 to empower seniors to utilize the resources available to them by teaching them how to navigate in the virtual world. 

ASK ALEXA, SIRI, etc.

Assistive Smart Technology using Alexa and/or Siri can make your life easier and safer. If you are interest in joining a capstone project being organized for a post-professional doctorate program click here. for more information.

Enroll Now in SmartSeniors/SmartTech© Program (Bring your own smartphone or tablet)

Group Sessions for smartphone and tablet training: Starting Wednesday, November 30, 10:30 – noon at Montclair Public Library. To enroll call: (973) 518 -0713 or email: support@montclairgateway.com

One-on-One Drop-In Sessions for individualized instruction with GTEAM Coaches: Tuesdays/Thursdays from 11 – noon at Edgemont Park House. Call 973-744-3278 for appointment

The program is built around our GTEAM of volunteer peer coaches who have been trained in human-centered design. Volunteers establish relationships with older residents who are reluctant or untutored users of technology and help them adopt the technology skills they need. Through meetings between clients, peer coaches and technology experts, we have designed approaches to assess basic skills and needs.  The teams utilize our strategically developed library of tutorials and other materials for training. If you are a tech savvy individual who would like to volunteer for peer coaching in our program, please send an email to support@montclairgateway.com or call (973) 518 3867.

Goal: In 2022, we initiated a pilot study of 25 trainees who improved their personal smart phone usage and whose motivation, skill level, and financial need fit the Gateway project criteria. After testing training hypotheses & evaluation instruments, evaluating the effectiveness of the process, and continuously improving the process, Gateway is expanding its 2023 program to include exposure to emerging digitally-driven assistive technology (AT).

Implementation Partners include Wally Choice Center, Edgemont Park House, Montclair Public Library, and the Montclair Women’s Club. Some typical objectives are how to get on-line, use email, Zoom, search the internet, contact grandchildren, conduct on-line business (e.g., banking), participate in tele-health visits, conduct e-government business, identify scams, take on-line educational courses, etc.

Montclair Gateway does not intend to reinvent the wheel or create redundant services – that is the beauty and the leverage point of a virtual enterprise. Gateway wants to support expansion of access to services. Expansion requires connectivity to and competency in accessing the resources of the digital world. Through the Gateway TEAM (GTEAM) process, we will demonstrate to each trainee how access to these partner organizations will empower them and expand their community involvement.

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Many of our collaborators already provide generalized digital literacy services. MGAP tailors its training to the needs of older residents. Our GTEAM is made up of volunteers over the age of 55 who empathize with our trainees. Our goal is to bridge the digital equity gap in order to help our community’s seniors age in place.

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