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Reflections on Net Inclusion 2024

Recently, LGBT Tech's Digital Navigator, Arin Rook, had the opportunity to represent LGBT Tech at the 7th annual Net Inclusion Conference in Philadelphia, PA. Net Inclusion is the nation’s largest annual Digital Inclusion conference hosted by the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA)

As a presenter for one of the Lightning Round sessions, Arin was able to share LGBT Tech's work alongside other Comcast partner organizations doing incredibly important Digital Equity work. The session's presentation titled, "Queer Connectivity Matters: The Impact of PowerOn & Digital Navigation for LGBTQ+ Communities," highlighted the pressing need for affordable internet access and essential technology within the LGBTQ+ community. With millions of LGBTQ+ households facing barriers to broadband access, we shared the steps we are taking through our PowerOn and Digital Navigator programs to help address this digital divide.

In the presentation Arin was able to share some of their own recommendations for Digital Equity programs and initiatives to promote inclusion, and highlighted some of the current factors and reasons that ensuring inclusion of our community in Digital Equity efforts is more urgent now than ever. Though not an exhaustive list, we provided a few key tips that we believe are critical first steps that can be incorporated into all Digital Equity programs, initiatives, policies, and outreach to increase inclusion of LGBTQ+ communities. (To read our list of recommendations check out our presentation blog post here.)

Throughout the rest of the conference week Arin was able to attend sessions featuring professionals from federal, state, and local governments, nonprofit leaders, industry experts, other Digital Navigators, and researchers. These sessions provided insights into the diverse efforts and initiatives to bridge the digital divide that are happening all across the country. Hearing from seasoned experts about the history of Digital Equity initiatives over the last fews years and their predictions and hopes for where the work is headed was really invaluable.

Thanks to Comcast for their partnership in bringing the work of #DigitalNavigators to life at #NetInclusion24 and beyond! Looking forward to diving into the work ahead!  

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