You are on page 1of 8

Aspirus Health Foundation Online Application - Large Grant Form: Organization name Organization address Organization contact person

son including telephone number and email address Proposal title Proposal summary: A one to two sentence description of your proposal Target population Geographic area served (by county) Total amount requested from the Foundation Total project budget Has your organization received funding from the Aspirus Health Foundation(AHF) previously, if so, when? Narrative: Proposal Background How did you determine a need for the program/services? Why is it important? Are there other entities working to solve the same problem? Proposed Activities/Approach (describe what you are going to do and how you will do it): What programs/services will you offer? If applicable, is your program based on proven or evidence based projects? How does it align with AHFs stated priorities (see page 2). Are you collaborating or partnering with other organizations to achieve your goal(s)? Method for tracking and calculating your measurable result(s) What do you expect to be the ultimate result(s) of your program? Please use SMART goalsSpecific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. How will you track program data so that you can calculate and report on the final result? Marketing What is your marketing plan? Outline how the Aspirus Health Foundation will be recognized in marketing and other print or promotional material. Organization Information Your organizations mission statement. A brief overview of your organizations top three related current programs and activities demonstrating why your organization is best equipped to administer this program. Financial Information A line item budget and budget narrative (template available online). Attachments: a. b. c. d. Board of directors list Most recent audited statement of financial position (if applicable) Copy of IRS federal tax exemption determination letter Anti-discrimination statement adopted by board of directors stating that the org does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, citizenship status, age, disability, sexual orientation, or veterans status Letters of support for proposed project (at least 2, no more than 4) Current fiscal year budget summary as approved by board of directors

e. f.

Large Grant Application: Page 1 Form Organization Name: Breaking Digital Barriers Organization Address: Organization contact person: Dr. Charles Wallace Contact telephone number: Contact e-mail address: wallace@mtu.edu Proposal title: Developing Senior Citizens Digital Literacy in the Houghton, MI Area Proposal summary (one to two sentences): Breaking Digital Barriers aims to increase digital literacy skills of senior citizens in the Houghton area by hosting a free tablet camp. These modern devices will improve their ability to find important online resources, stay in contact with family, and access more reliable mobile networks. Grant type: Target population: Older Adult (55+) Geographic area served (by county): Houghton County Funding amount requested: $8500 Total project budget: Has your organization received funding from the Aspirus Health Foundation in the past? NEEDED

Large Grant Application: Page 2

Narrative How did you determine a need for the program/services? Why is it important? Technology is advancing at unprecedented rates; new devices and interfaces are being developed daily. Utilizing these technologies has become part of our modern lives. The internet alone has molded our lives in uncounted ways; according to the International Telecommunications Union, in 2012 over 81% of all Americans used the internet to access social networks, local business information, and other various online resources. Many individuals, organizations, and businesses are utilizing the internet to connect to different people and places. This includes doctors for example, who will stay in contact with patients that may have questions after leaving the hospital. Using these new technologies has become secondnature to people who have grown up in the digital age. The Breaking Digital Barriers program began when Dr. Wallace, founder of the project, noticed his friends and family were having trouble operating modern technology. The local Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly program saw similar troubles with their participants, leading to the recognition of the digital divide between the senior population and the rest of the community. Senior members of the Houghton/Hancock community have very few options to keep up with advancing technology. Touchscreen technology is fast becoming the norm for modern digital devices. According to a study by IdTechEx, a technology research firm, the touchscreen market is expected to triple within the next decade, and many technology companies are pushing to produce more devices with touch screen technology. Breaking Digital Barriers patrons are currently responsible for supplying their own devices to learn and experiment with during the current free friday morning learning sessions, which in many cases, leads to the utilization of dated technology. However, people with less digital accessibility, physical limitations (such as vision loss, blindness, and limited motor skills), or little understanding of current technology experience frustration, anxiety, and discomfort when navigating the digital world. The visual, motor, and cognitive challenges of the standard keyboard, mouse, and monitor computer interface are daunting for those with impaired physical function and limited digital experience. - Breaking Digital Barriers Superior Ideas webpage Disadvantaged groups not only experience these feelings when they use digital technology, but this prevents them from using in digital technology in the first place. The senior citizen population generally does not have the same ability to access, use, or understand digital information as groups that grew up with and understand computers, and they feel intimidated by unfamiliar interfaces and protocols. In the Upper Peninsula, internet networks are not widespread or reliable. In this unique and rural area, mobile networks are easier to access and more reliable. Devices that can access and utilize these networks will improve accessibility for many citizens.

Breaking Digital Barriers is committed to narrowing the digital literacy gap for senior citizens in the Houghton/Hancock, Michigan, community. Breaking Digital Barriers aims to be a sustainable project that will leave a positive effect on the community and provide learning experiences and advantages to their senior patrons. The current Breaking Digital Barriers Friday Morning Learning Sessions program is well received within the community, and the sessions are exceeding capacity. Breaking Digital Barriers plans to expand their sessions to better serve the community. Are there other entities working to solve the same problem? No - none in the focus area What program/services will you offer? If applicable, is your program based on proven or evidence-based projects? How does it align with the Aspirus Health Foundation's stated priorities? Breaking Digital Barriers is seeking to expand their program by implementing free-to-the-public tablet computer training sessions (informally referred to as Tablet Camp) during the summers to keep users up to date with changing technology, and provide a more understandable learning interface, offer support to seniors learning to navigate digital devices. In addition, there is an opportunity to research how tablets, with their theoretically more intuitive touchscreen interface, may help increase digital accessibility for all digitally illiterate populations. Breaking Digital Barriers hypothesizes that one of the major issues is hand-eye coordination, and that removing the mouse-keyboard-monitor interface and replacing it with touch-screen technology will alleviate many of the issues that digitally inexperienced populations encounter, such as difficulty operating a mouse or laptop touchpad and little understanding of how the mouse-monitor hardware functions together. Tablet computers, such as iPads and Android tablets, offer participants many advantages: - Touch-screen technology eliminates the mousea formidable obstacle for seniors. -Portability avoids problems of positioning screens or other hardware. -Reasonable prices provide seniors on a limited income an affordable digital option. -A suite of tablet computers for use by library patrons will help local seniors make steps toward digital literacy, and will allow us to explore ways to best serve the digital needs of this age group. -Breaking Digital Barriers Superior Ideas webpage Unfortunately no such devices are available for seniors to learn about and use at current learning

sessions. Providing the touch-screen devices is the best way to conduct this Tablet Camp without needing the seniors to purchase tablets or pay for the lessons. Breaking Digital Barriers aims to develop digital literacy for local senior citizens through the Tablet Camp Project. This camp will prepare seniors of the Houghton and Hancock area to use tablets and other touch-screen technology. This includes training participants in the operating system, allowing for more intuitive navigation on the device and online. Much of this material is currently discussed during weekly meetings on personal computers at the Houghton Public Library. However, tablets can offer benefits to those with physical disabilities or reduced motor skills, who would normally have trouble using the standard mouse-keyboard interface. This would allow them to look into utilizing the devices to find important resources online, such as healthcare or financial information. Additionally, the Breaking Digital Barriers project offers a unique opportunity to research and test more intuitive, and less physically challenging computer interface designs. Touch screen technology will theoretically help senior citizens learn, use, and become more proficient with digital technology. Conducting this research with senior citizens is advantageous because seniors are an excellent research proxy for other digitally inexperienced groups. Senior citizen populations generally encompass many of the limitations that digitally illiterate groups have, such as physical disabilities (limited motor skills, blindness, hearing loss, etc), lower digital accessibility (both financial and physical access), and less understanding of how digital technology works in the modern world. Breaking Digital Barriers is hoping to set an example of how to create senior citizen digital literacy programs in similar areas. Many digital literacy programs like this exist; however, they are located in large metropolitan areas which are easily able to support such programs. The Houghton area is a smaller region, with fewer resources and may require a slightly different program. The Breaking Digital Barriers project will focus on an estimated 10-12 residents at a time. This will refine a method for instructing the use of tablets and computers, leading to an efficient example of how to get a program like this up and running for similar areas. Are you collaborating or partnering with other organization(s) to achieve your goal? Yes What do you expect to be the ultimate result(s) of your program? Please use SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound) This tablet camp will increase the participants overall computer usage by 70% and increase participants social media usage by 50%, as reported 3 months after the conclusion of the camp. Additionally, at the conclusion of the Tablet Camp, 50% of participants should be able to find documents and apps and look up information twice as fast as they reported at the beginning of the camp. Lastly, Participants reported tablet usage confidence and comfort levels will increase by an average of two points on a scale of 1-10.

This project will help shed some light on this issue, and the size of the digital barrier, bringing the community closer into one public sphere. It will also provide a view for this type of instruction, hopefully leading to similar projects in other areas. How will you track program data so that you can calculate and report on the final result? Breaking Digital Barriers plans to measure these results by surveying participants at the start of the Tablet Camp, at the conclusion of the camp, and again at 3 months post-camp, to evaluate attitudes and skills gained by the seniors. What is your marketing plan? Outline how the Aspirus Health Foundation will be recognized in your marketing and other print or promotional material: Currently, Breaking Digital Barriers runs advertisements in the Daily Mining Gazette, and plan to enhance existing marketing with radio announcements and flyers. All of these mediums will be able to acknowledge Aspirus Health Foundation. Breaking Digital Barriers must reach participants in ways that dont involve computers or internet, because they are reaching out to people who have very little digital experience. Your organization's mission statement: Breaking Digital Barriers aims to increase digital literacy for local senior citizens through outreach efforts, develop awareness of the digital literacy divide for both undergraduate and graduate students, and increase usability through the development of intuitive interface designs and more effective teaching/pedagogical materials. A brief overview of your organization's top three related current programs and activities demonstrating why your organization is best equipped to administer this program: The group currently offers free learning sessions on Friday mornings at the Portage Lake District Library to teach seniors how to operate their personal computers or laptops, while observing the ways that seniors interact with the basic functionality of computers. These learning sessions are staffed by student volunteers who assist patrons with operating the mouse and other interface hardware, navigating software and internet, and learning basic computer safety. For example, one of the regular Breaking Digital Barriers learning sessions patrons, Elaine, was having trouble understanding her computers file systems. She was afraid that she had lost some sentimental, important pictures. With a little training, she was shown where the photos were located and how she could find them in the future. In December 2013, Breaking Digital Barriers partnered with Michigan Works to offer a workshop for local citizens to learn how to apply for unemployment insurance. This program is open to everyone in the community.

Large Grant Application: Page 3 Attachments

- Board of directors list - Most recent audited statement of financial position (if applicable) - Copy of IRS federal tax exemption determination letter - Anti-discrimination statement adopted by board of directors stating that the org does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, citizenship status, age, disability, sexual orientation, or veterans status - Letters of support for proposed project (at least 2, no more than 4) - Current fiscal year budget summary as approved by board of directors

Line Item Budget: Page 2 Please also provide a budget narrative. (Separate Budget Template) Funding is needed to finance the acquisition of tablet computer technology, wages for 2 graduate student trained workers, and a specialized training session with a local computer-training professional. Computer equipment: Breaking Digital Barriers would like to offer a variety of tablet environments, for a couple of reasons: It gives senior learners the opportunity to comparison shop and see which platform works best for them; and from a research perspective it gives Breaking Digital Barriers the ability to compare interaction styles on different platforms. The base tablet models that Breaking Digital Barriers are targeting are the Apple iPad ($500 per unit) and the Google Nexus 10 ($400 per unit). Support for graduate students: For the planned week-long summer training session, Breaking Digital Barriers would like to hire two Michigan Tech graduate students, at a rate of $800 per student per week. Support for trainer: To prepare these students for the summer training session, Breaking Digital Barriers plans to hire Harriet King. Ms. King has an M.S. degree in Computer Science from Michigan Tech and has conducted research on how users learn new computer skills. She also runs a local business that provides computer help. Breaking Digital Barriers would hire Ms. King to give a two-day training session, at a rate of $800.