- Comcast will provide a grant to the American Association for People with Disabilities (AAPD) to fund creation and delivery of digital literacy training aimed at addressing the needs of low-income Americans in the disabled community, according to a press release.
- The grant will fund training materials and classes to facilitate this skills development, Comcast said, and the programs will be delivered online and at 10 AAPD affiliates across the U.S.
- The company's Internet Essentials program aims to bridge "the digital divide" by providing a comprehensive "Internet adoption program" for low-income households. The program, in place since 2011, has already provided more than 8 million low-income Americans with internet access, the company said.
Data show that even though the disabled community provides significant economic benefit to local areas, workers of this community are often left out of employers' diversity and inclusion initiatives. More than 20 million workers are looking for work, according to the National Organization Disability. Digital skills training initiatives may be helpful to connect this cohort with employers who are looking to increase representation of people with disabilities within their organizations.
For workers in low-income communities, access to digital training and skills could be a must to further pay equity, as workers with digital proficiencies can earn more than less-skilled candidates, according to Willis Towers Watson. An increasing number of jobs require basic digital literacy in order to meet employers' current skill and growth demands, yet experts say even basic skills may not be enough to prepare workers for technological change.
When companies look at their role as stewards in their community, outreach to people with disabilities might be part of their inclusion strategy. Experts previously told HR Dive that employers would do well, however, to defer to people with disabilities when implementing ways to make them feel included at work.