Transforming Immigrant Digital Equity (TIDE)

Get Involved in State Planning (for Community Organizations & Advocates)

The Digital Equity Act presents an unprecedented opportunity to ensure digital equity and inclusion for everyone in the U.S. This page provides guidance for adult education programs, immigrant-serving organizations, and other community organizations on how to get involved in their state’s Digital Equity Plan planning process.

What is a State Digital Equity Plan?

A state’s plan must include the following:

  1. The barriers to digital equity faced by covered populations in the state
  2. Measurable objectives for
    1. availability and affordability of broadband access, devices, and technical support
    2. digital literacy
    3. online accessibility of public services
    4. individual online privacy and cybersecurity
  3. An assessment of how the above objectives will impact and interact with the State’s economic, educational, health, social, and other outcomes
  4. A description of how the State will collaborate with key stakeholders to achieve the above objectives, including including community anchor institutions; nonprofit organizations; organizations that represent covered populations; civil rights organizations; workforce development program providers; State agencies administering adult education activities; public housing authorities; and/or partnerships between any of the above.
  5. A list of organizations with which the State’s administering entity collaborated on the Digital Equity Plan

Where are we now?

(Timeline from NTIA’s Digital Equity Act Programs Overview fact sheet.)

As of December 23, 2022, all 50 states have received their State Planning Grant funds. States now have a year from the time they received funding to create their Digital Equity Plan. This process includes convening key stakeholders, disbursing funds to subgrantees for assistance in planning (if proposed), collecting data on the barriers to digital equity faced by covered populations, and soliciting and responding to public comments on a draft plan.

Community organizations interested in learning about what is happening in their state can view World Education’s list of Digital Equity Act administering entities and stakeholder engagement activities by state:

This sheet is frequently updated, and World Education invites all stakeholders to submit any additional information they may have to support others’ engagement and advocacy efforts.

Without a complete Digital Equity Plan, states will not be able to apply for implementation funding via the State Capacity Grant.

Adult education should be a critical component of every state’s Digital Equity Act planning and implementation strategy. Access Adult Education in Focus: An Annotated State Digital Equity Plan Template for detailed guidance on 1) why adult learners need to be included in State Digital Equity Plans, and 2) how adult education can support the development and implementation of State Digital Equity Plans, section by section.

Guidance & Resources for Getting Started
NTIA Guidance & Resources for State Digital Equity Planning
Other Guidance & Resources for State Digital Equity Planning

What’s coming?

Each state’s DEA administering entity has one year from the date they are awarded funding to create their Digital Equity Plan. Community organizations can check the date their state received funding on the Internet for All map.

As part of the planning process, states must solicit and respond to public comments on their drafted Digital Equity Plan. Whether or not they have engaged in other aspects of the planning process, community organizations can submit their own comment or work with other organizations and advocates to submit a comment together. Community organizations can also provide guidance to states in order to ensure that the public comment process is as accessible as possible, especially for covered populations.

A complete Digital Equity Plan will be part of the application for the next round of funding, the State Digital Equity Capacity Grant. Funding from the Capacity Grant will support states in implementing their Digital Equity Plan for five years.