THE SENATE

S.C.R. NO.

219

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

SENATE CONCURRENT

RESOLUTION

 

 

urging the executive office on aging to FORM A WORKING GROUP AND DEVELOP A PLAN FOR OUTREACH TO KUPUNA TO REMEDIATE A LACK OF DIGITAL LITERACY, BRoADBAND ACCESS, AND COMPUTER EQUIPMENT.

 

 


WHEREAS, access to broadband connectivity is a foundation for improved economic growth, job creation, global competitiveness, and a better way of life; and

 

WHEREAS, in March 2020, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was detected in the State, upending all that residents knew as normal; in response, the Governor was joined by the mayors of all four counties in mandating restrictions and policies on operations, travel between the islands, and work-from-home policies; and

 

WHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic and its broad, adverse economic impact underscored that improved access to broadband services across all communities in Hawaii would enhance economic development, education, healthcare, public safety, and emergency services in those communities; and

 

WHEREAS, broadband connectivity was once considered a luxury commodity, but the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that stable internet access is a necessity for a productive, modern life and a lifeline in the event of an emergency; and

 

WHEREAS, thousands of residents in the State were forced to function from their homes and rely on the quality of their internet connections for access to virtual communications; and

 

WHEREAS, having basic technical capabilities in digital literacy is a necessity to access the potential of broadband connectivity and the internet; and

 

WHEREAS, members of our community, such as our kupuna, homeless population, and recently released prisoners, often lack the digital skills necessary to fully utilize newer, current technologies to discover career and other social support opportunities, which may be found online and are especially critical during the COVID-19 pandemic; and

 

WHEREAS, kupuna are eager for opportunities to learn about technologies that would facilitate their aging independently, have a desire to understand and control their data (as privacy is also important to them), and it is estimated that more than half of people sixty-five years or older are smartphone owners; and

 

WHEREAS, the rapid and constant advancement of technology often makes older adults unsure of their ability to use it, which can leave them unmotivated and lacking in the self-confidence to utilize technology in their everyday life; and

 

WHEREAS, the Executive Office on Aging (EOA) is the designated lead agency in the coordination of a statewide system of aging and caregiver support services in the State; now, therefore,

 

BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Thirty-first Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2021, the House of Representatives concurring, that the EOA is encouraged to study and identify the number of kupuna in the State who struggle with digital literacy, lack broadband access, and lack computer equipment; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the EOA is encouraged to form a working group to develop a plan for outreach to kupuna to remediate a lack of digital literacy, and to develop a curriculum to increase digital literacy among Hawaii's kupuna community; provided that it is also requested that the Director of the EOA, or their designee, lead the working group, and it is suggested that the group consist of other governmental agencies, organizations, and subject matter experts; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the EOA is urged to partner with nonprofit groups that work toward increasing digital literacy and access for kupuna and other unserved or underserved communities; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the EOA is requested to submit a report of its findings and plan for remediation, including any proposed legislation, to the Legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2023; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Governor and Director of the Executive Office on Aging.

 

 

 

 

OFFERED BY:

_____________________________

 

 

Report Title:

Kupuna; Digital Literacy; Executive Office on Aging; Survey and Remediation