Access to a digital device and knowledge of how to use it is important for daily functioning and social inclusion. As a society, we go online through a computer or smart phone, for information, to establish and maintain social connections, to manage life’s logistics, for entertainment purposes, and increasingly for support with health and wellness.
Internet access and skills are correlated with employment, income, civic engagement, and social well-being. In addition, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a dramatic increase in medical and behavioral health service delivery needed via telehealth. Digital inclusion is something that many of us take for granted, but many of the people Vinfen serves feel left behind in this area. As a result, Vinfen has implemented several initiatives with the goal of increasing digital equity for people with mental health conditions and intellectual and developmental disabilities. See below for more information on these initiatives:
- Digital Device Distribution
- Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Vinfen distributed over 500 digital devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops, and smart speakers) to people with mental health conditions or disabilities.
- Digital Literacy Sessions
- Supportive Technology
- With special grant funding, Vinfen is piloting technology to enhance persons’ served independence in group homes. The program conducts an assistive technology evaluation, acquires the digital equipment needed, and trains the staff and persons served on how to use these tools.