York Region, ON, May 12, 2022 – The push to get tablets into the hands of Ontario seniors shouldn’t be stopped just because lockdowns are over. On the contrary, the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated that access to technology is an essential necessity for seniors and key to sustaining their health.
That’s the message Noor Din, CEO and founder of non-profit Human Endeavour, an organization that provides health, economic and social services to marginalized communities, will be sharing as a speaker at the upcoming Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences (Congress 2022), Canada’s largest humanities and social sciences conference, taking place virtually this year from May 12-20.
At the start of the pandemic, Din’s group launched a unique program to put free, senior-friendly tablets – preprogrammed with only Google Chrome, Zoom, Gmail and YouTube apps, fully supported by a help desk with remote access capabilities, and pre-loaded with data SIM cards to ensure Internet access – into the hands of more than 400 seniors living at home in York Region and across Ontario.
The response was so positive that the program is expanding to include a five-year technology roadmap for seniors supported by nearly $1 -million from the United Way of Greater Toronto through the Allan Slaight fund. The organization is now working with more than 30 partners to provide fully-funded tablets to seniors across Ontario, including accessible and automated versions specifically designed for people who are blind, deaf or living with dementia.
In his Congress 2022 session, Din will share findings from an evaluation study conducted by York University’s Sociology Department, showing that 86 per cent of seniors found their tablet instrumental in keeping them both physically and emotionally fit, with 85 per cent using it to maintain ties with their pre-COVID social circles. To make it easier, Human Endeavour preprogrammed the seniors’ regular community activities into Zoom.
“We didn’t just buy tablets from the market and give them to seniors, because that doesn’t work,” said Din, emphasizing that it’s important to remove traditional barriers to use. “Tablets are no longer just a COVID-19 solution – every senior should have one as a critical tool to maintain their overall health.”
Billed as a leading conference on the critical conversations of our time, Congress 2022 serves as a platform for the unveiling of thousands of research papers and presentations from social sciences and humanities experts worldwide. With more than 6,000 visitors expected to log in, the event focuses on reimagining the future following two years of the COVID-19 pandemic and other life-altering world events, with the goal of inspiring ideas, dialogue and action that create a more diverse, sustainable, democratic and just future.
Organized by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Congress 2022 is sponsored by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), Mitacs, SAGE Publishing, Universities Canada, the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), and University Affairs.
Registration – which includes 100+ keynote and open Congress 2022 sessions (with recordings available until June 3, 2022) – is $55. Visit www.congress2022.ca to register for a community pass and access the program of events open to the public. Enter code TRANSITIONS2022 for 10% off registration.
For more information or to set up an interview, please contact:
Tel: (877) 986-1340
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