Solutions: Inclusion - Low-Cost Devices
Initiate a Program to Make Available Low-Cost Devices
GOAL: Overcome the cost barrier to using computers to access Internet applications and other resources.
DESCRIPTION: Initiate a computer refurbishment program designed to help recycle computers donated by local businesses, government, schools, and other organizations, and then distribute them to low-income households and other households who face affordability barriers to computer ownership. Community computer refurbishing provides an opportunity for local volunteers and students to gain valuable new skills and training that can be used for career enhancement, and in some cases earn credits for high school or college, while reinvesting in their communities. Communities also have the option of using prison inmates to refurbish computers so that they leave prison with valuable job skills. Alternatively, if the computers are beyond refurbishment, the community can develop a computer recycling program. Recycling and reusing electronic equipment reduces the amount of hazardous materials that may enter the environment. Recycling and reuse programs also reduce the quantities of electronic scrap being landfilled in the state.
Develop a model for computer refurbishing or recycling. A basic framework might include:
Project Planning: Determination of minimum computer specifications. Acquisition and storage of donated computers. Determination and installation of appropriate computer operating system. Calculation of costs needed to carry out the program.
Inventory Management: Examine how equipment and software will be sorted and managed; manage inventory by identifying computers that are ready to be refurbished from those that are non-functioning.
Volunteer Training: Review established residential refurbishment and recycling programs that the community can take advantage of.
Non-profit organizations, Libraries and schools, Senior centers, Private-sector technology companies, (e.g., web developers, device repair, etc.)
InterConnection helps communities establish device refurbishment programs and provide devices to those in need: http://www.interconnection.org/.
Dell Reconnect: http://dellreconnect.com/.
E-Cycling Central: http://www.eiae.org/.