In April of 2020, the Digital Literacy Alliance (DLA) launched a fast-track grant cycle in response to the digital needs that arose from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The DLA grant provided funding to the Community Learning Center (CLC), the ExCITe Center at Drexel University, and SEAMAAC to establish one or more Digital Navigator roles within their organizations.  

We’re thrilled to announce that the digital navigator network has expanded! The Knight Foundation has funded LULAC National Education Service Centers (LNESC) and Inglis Assistive Tech Solutions (IATS) to create Digital Navigator teams within their organizations. IATS specifically focuses on helping Philadelphia residents with disabilities to get connected.  

Steppingstone Scholars also joined Philadelphia’s Digital Navigator network in the fall of 2020. Steppingstone Scholars’ Digital Navigator services are funded by a small group of generous individual donors. We’re excited to see the digital navigation model expand and more players help tackle digital equity across Philadelphia 

Digital Navigators can help residents: 

  • Sign up for or get help with PHLConnectED, the city’s initiative to ensure all K-12 households have internet access,  
  • Access, apply, and set up affordable and low-cost internet 
  • Obtain low-cost or free computers 
  • Get basic technical support 
  • Troubleshoot connectivity issues
  • Support families on how to connect to jobs, telehealth, government services, adult education, and ecommerce 
  • Refer individuals to digital literacy training 

With the launch of PHLConnectED—the City’s initiative to connect K-12 families to free internet across Philadelphia—in the summer of 2020, we realize that many individuals are getting in-home internet or using a MiFi hotspot device for the first time. Digital Navigators can both direct families on how to sign up for PHLConnectED and help them understand how to maintain a stable connection. 

We’re thrilled how quickly this program came together—moving from the Alliance to the Office of Innovation and Technology to these organizations. A lot of work, speedy turnaround times, and critical thinking went into creating this grant cycle and program. We look forward to how this program and digital equity work will continue to grow as we move forward. 

How to connect with a Digital Navigator

Any Philadelphia resident who needs digital support can call the locations below to speak to a Digital Navigator. 

If residents call outside of regular hours, they can leave a message for a callback within one to two business days. You can also contact a Digital Navigator via email. 

Community Learning Center (CLC) 

The ExCITe Center at Drexel University 

SEAMAAC 

  • Helpline: 215-867-9732
  • Hours: Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday (12 p.m. to 4 p.m.)
  • Email: digital@seamaac.org
  • Digital Navigator Webpage: https://seamaac.org/digital-navigation/ 
  • Live chat translation is available in Spanish. Interpreters are also available for most languages on helpline calls. When leaving a message, callers must include a request to be called back in their preferred language. 

Steppingstone Scholars 

Inglis Assistive Tech Solutions (IATS) 

  • Helpline: 267-500-1537
  • Hours: Wednesdays (9 a.m. to 12 p.m.)  
  • Email: navigators@inglis.org
  • IATS provides digital navigator support for people with disabilities. 

LULAC National Education Service Centers (LNESC) 

  • Helpline: 267-341-8591
  • Hours: Monday through Friday (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
  • Email: lnescdigi@gmail.com 
  • Services offered in English and Spanish.