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Digital Equity for Adults with Barriers to Access and Services

Grants to Washington Organizations to Provide Internet
Connectivity and Digital Literacy Support During COVID-19

Agency Type:

Local

Funding Source:

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King County Council (KCC) - Office of Equity and Social Justice (OESJ)

Conf. Date:

09/08/20

Deadline Date:

09/22/20 5:00 PM Receipt

Description:

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Grants to Washington organizations in eligible areas to provide Internet connectivity and digital literacy support to residents impacted by Coronavirus (COVID-19). Funding is intended to provide internet connection and the technology that is necessary for residents to access web-based applications and platforms for health, economic, housing, and other basic needs, or information necessitated by COVID-19. King County will partner with community-based organizations that currently serve seniors, limited-English proficiency, unemployed, and/or homeless adults to improve access to online resources and improve digital literacy. Eligible activities must benefit residents of King County.

New to the coronavirus pandemic is that residential options for accessing the Internet are the only way people can work, access government and job search services, or interact with their doctors, among others. Target beneficiaries may have relied on public spaces such as libraries, community centers, or coffee shops for their Internet access – locations that are now inaccessible due to COVID-19 closures. In this public health crisis, broadband is critical infrastructure and foundational technology for a functional society. 

Ensuring equal access to the Internet for all residents, regardless of age, income, or ability will allow them to connect to important online resources. Increased digital access may take the form of assistance navigating online resources for health, economic, or other basic needs, providing technology for individuals to access the internet and online resources and services, and classes on digital and online literacy. Increasing access to these critical resources will help vulnerable King County residents recover from the health, economic, and social impacts of COVID-19.

Primary beneficiaries of the program qualify if they are in one or more of the following categories: 

  1. Unemployed
  2. Seniors
  3. Limited English proficiency
  4. Experience homelessness

And have a lack of internet connectivity, a lack of access to broadband-enabled devices, or a lack of digital literacy.

Within the target beneficiary groups, grantees should serve those who are the most affected by the outbreak of COVID-19, including but not limited to Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Native American/Pacific Islander, and other disadvantaged communities. Grantees are expected to address language access for adults with limited English proficiency and ensure accessibility to the program for adults with disabilities.

Activities allowed under this grant include providing:

  • Broadband enabled devices like refurbished laptops, tablets, Wi-Fi hotspots and/or other computing devices;
  • Technical assistance and training, in-language as needed, to help participants use the devices and other resources;
  • Other assistance that will help achieve the intent and objectives of this grant program. Goods or services that fall under this heading will need King County pre-approval.

The following list outlines expenditures eligible under this grant program:

  • Buying broadband enabled devices like refurbished laptops, tablets, Wi-Fi hot spots, and/or other computing devices to bridge the gap.
  • Technical assistance and training, in-language as needed, to help participants use the devices and other resources.
  • Purchase of services from community-based organizations to leverage the unique expertise and ties to communities of interest to support digital equity objectives of this program.
  • Translation of resources, training guides, and materials to help beneficiaries’ access to technology or gain other related information.
  • Other assistance and direct program administration costs that will help achieve the intent and objectives of this grant program. Items that fall under this heading will need King County pre-approval.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 192192

Estimated Total Program Funding:

$695,000

Estimated Size of Grant:

Applicants may request awards between $25,000 and $500,000.

Term of Contract:

Expenditures must be incurred in the period from August 1, 2020, through December 30, 2020.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

As part of this program, King County will issue grants to organizations that serve the target populations and meet the eligibility requirements. Organizations are eligible to apply if they:
1. Have an existing relationship with at least one of the target populations;
2. Have competency in providing technology access, offering technology resources, or digital literacy assistance.
3. Will address language access for adults with limited English proficiency and ensure accessibility to the program for adults with disabilities.
4. Can meet Federal terms and conditions, including record keeping requirements.

Pre-proposal Conference:

A Community Information Session will be held September 8, 2020 at 2:00 PM Pacific Time.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://kingcounty.zoom.us/j/93445587879
Meeting ID: 934 4558 7879
Passcode: 447799

Pre-Application Information:

Timeline:
RFA release date: September 2, 2020
Final day to submit questions: September 9, 2020
Applications due: September 22, 2020 by 5:00 PM
Applicants notified of decision: October 2, 2020
Program Period: August 1 – December 30, 2020

Applicants will be required to submit any questions in writing prior to 5:00 PM on September 9, 2020 in order for staff to prepare any response required to be answered in an FAQ document emailed to all candidates. Questions should be sent to the Procurement Lead noted below.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

All applications and inquiries must be sent directly to digital.equity.grants@kingcounty.gov.

Procurement Lead:
Shannon Harris - digital.equity.grants@kingcounty.gov

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Washington

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