PHILADELPHIA—The City of Philadelphia today announced two new organizations with Digital Navigator services and emphasized how the program can provide digital support to residents during the pandemic and beyond. In the spring of 2020, the Digital Literacy Alliance (DLA) launched a fast-track grant cycle that funded Digital Navigator roles in community organizations to help residents access affordable internet and technology. The Community Learning Center (CLC), the ExCITe Center at Drexel University, and SEAMAAC were the first three organizations to receive funding and launch their Digital Navigator services.
This year, two new organizations have joined Philadelphia’s Digital Navigator network. 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 with funding from a small group of generous individual donors. The City is thrilled that the Digital Navigator network has expanded throughout Philadelphia and hopes that it continues to do so. The existing Digital Navigator organizations have seen a steady stream of calls and successfully helped many Philadelphia residents solve their digital issues.
Digital Navigators are available by phone and email at these six organizations to help residents access and use technology and the Internet. They provide support by helping individuals find and apply for affordable internet connectivity, obtain low-cost or free computers, get support with simple online tasks, and link to online digital literacy training.
Additionally, these organizations can help K-12 families sign up, or who have already signed up for, the City’s PHLConnectED program that offers free access to reliable internet to eligible K-12 households. Families and individuals can call one of the below Digital Navigator hotlines to get support with connectivity issues.
“When the Digital Literacy Alliance launched the digital navigation program last spring, our immediate goal was to address pandemic-related digital access challenges,” said Andrew Buss, Deputy CIO of Innovation Management. “We’re grateful to the Knight Foundation’s support in expanding the digital navigation model in Philadelphia, especially as the City continues to develop digital access programs like PHLConnectED.”
Any Philadelphia resident who needs digital support can contact these Digital Navigator teams.
LULAC National Education Service Centers (LNESC)
LULAC National Education Service Centers (LNESC) will be providing students and families with access to a Digital Navigator. LNESC offers services in English and Spanish. Interested parties can call the helpline at 267-341-8591 for support. Calls will be answered live from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. Alternatively, residents can connect with a member of the LNESC Digital Navigator team by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inglis Assistive Tech Solutions (IATS)
Inglis Assistive Tech Solutions (IATS) program will assist Philadelphia residents with disabilities to obtain internet access. Philadelphians with disabilities can call the helpline at 267-500-1537 for support. Calls will be answered live from 9 am to 12 p.m. on Wednesdays. Calls received during other hours will be returned within 2 business days in the order they were received. When leaving a voice message, individuals should state their name, preferred time for a callback and preferred method of communication. Residents can also connect with a member of the Inglis Digital Navigator team by email at email@example.com.
Steppingstone Scholars’ dedicated Digital Navigator helpline is (302) 440-6428. Navigators are available to take calls from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Monday through Friday in English and Spanish. Digital Navigators can also be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community Learning Center (CLC)
Residents can reach a CLC Digital Navigator by calling 215-426-7049 or by emailing email@example.com. The helpline will be live-answered on Mondays (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.), Tuesdays (12:30 to 4:30 p.m.), Thursdays (12:30 to 4:30 p.m.), and Fridays (8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.). If individuals call outside of these hours, they are encouraged to leave a message for a callback that they will receive in one to two business days.
The ExCITe Center at Drexel University
Philadelphians can call or text 1-267-217-3508. The helpline will be live-answered Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. If residents call outside of these hours, they are encouraged to leave a message for a callback that they will receive in 1 to 2 business days. A Drexel Digital Navigator can also be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Individuals can call the helpline at 215-867-9732. The helpline is available on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. If residents call outside of these hours and/or if a staff member is unavailable at the time of the first call, residents are encouraged to leave a message for a callback that they will receive in 1 to 2 business days. Philadelphians can also email email@example.com to connect with a Digital Navigator. Live chat translation is available in Spanish and interpreters are available for most languages on helpline calls. When leaving a message, callers must include a request to be called back in their preferred language.