Advancing Access and Digital Equity: DRAW Detailed Findings and Discussion

Digital divides reflect longstanding inequities in American society, such as income and wealth gaps and uneven access to high-quality K-12 education. Lack of broadband access is a common issue in rural areas, low-income urban areas, tribal lands, and Spanish-speaking households. Individuals with disabilities also use digital technologies at lower rates and are less likely to have access to PCs or tablets. Many of these issues of digital inequities, as well as the critical importance of internet and device access, were laid bare during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the urgent need for adult digital skill development as a backdrop, the Digital Resilience in the American Workforce (DRAW) initiative, funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE), conducted a wide-ranging landscape scan to identify effective approaches and existing resources supporting digital skills development in adult education. The scan also identified current efforts to advance digital access and digital equity; useful skill definitions, frameworks, and assessments; and practitioner professional development opportunities. This deep dive explores findings related to advancing access to technology and digital skills instruction and digital equity.


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