NEC deploys Internet access to senior Australians

NEC Australia has announced the Yarraville Senior Citizens Centre as the 2000th site to receive a Broadband for Seniors Kiosk, facilitated by the Australian Government’s $15 million Broadband for Seniors initiative.

According to the company, the kiosks are aimed at increasing the confidence and skills of senior Australians in using computers and technology, increasing community participation and social inclusion, and helping them live independently for longer.

Since the initiative launched in July 2009, an estimated 94,000 seniors across Australia have had access to the kiosks and training in sites from Fitzroy Crossing, Western Australia to Swansea, Tasmania, dramatically increasing the availability of Internet services and building their confidence in using technology.

In a statement, David Cooke, Group Manager, NEC Australia, said: "Since launching Broadband for Seniors in 2009, we have seen a fantastic response from both volunteers and community organisations wanting to get involved. The benefits that the initiative offers older Australians — such as providing a supportive environment to gain knowledge and skills in using computers and the Internet — have certainly been realised. One major outcome emerging is the sheer number of older Australians connecting with distant family members both in Australia and overseas."

Since the initiative kicked off, over 43,000 online lessons have been completed, with the most popular courses being Introduction to Computers, Introduction to Word Processing, Introduction to the Internet and Introduction to Email.

Mr Cooke stressed the importance of technology to older Australians, stating: "IT literacy is only going to become more important as Australia’s population ages, and e-health and home based services become the norm."

Posted in Australian eHealth

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