Making It Click: Connecting Rural Seniors | A Partnership Between Okta, the Tide Foundation, and Leep NGO

We’re excited to announce the launch of our Making It Click: Connecting Rural Seniors program, funded by the Tides Foundation[1] and the Okta For Good Fund.[2]

The program supports digital inclusion for isolated and vulnerable Older Australians in the rural and regional NSW areas of Bathurst, Canowindra, Lithgow, Mudgee, and Orange who would otherwise be unconnected because they are unable to afford devices or online access. Leep will distribute 75 iPads in easy-grip cases with access plans, and provide ongoing digital mentoring, tech maintenance and support, and telephone/Facetime Virtual Visiting.

Leep’s Executive Chair, Dr Anne Wiggins, says “We are thrilled to have partnered with Okta and Tides to deliver such a worthy program. Affordable access is a major barrier for many older Australians, particularly those on low incomes who live in regional and remote areas. Access and affordability for older Australians in rural areas is significantly lower than the national average, and their level of digital exclusion increases with age.”

Anne explains that the program “fulfills all three national markers for digital inclusion: accessibility, affordability, and digital ability. By providing personal digital access, connectivity, and mentoring for a highly marginalised group of people, our program provides opportunities for increased social connectedness, improved mental and physical health, participation in online social and economic activities, and reduced loneliness.”

What’s next? Anne says to “stay tuned for our announcement of the second phase of the program, focussing on the region of Outer Western Sydney, an area with the highest levels of socio-economic disadvantage in Australia, and the highest rates of poverty for older people in NSW.”

Now we’ve gotten the nuts and bolts of this program down, I’m sure you’re eager to discover how you can get involved.

I need a device! What can I do?

You can contact Leep on 1300 163 106. This is a free call that will connect you with a Leep staff member who can register you for this program.

Sounds too good to be true, what’s the catch?

There isn’t one. As long as you live in the NSW areas of Bathurst, Canowindra, Lithgow, Mudgee, and Orange, are over 65 years of age (55 if you are First Nations), and your primary income is government benefits, you qualify! We exist to give you the access and the skills to use technology.

I don’t need a device, but I want to help. What can I do?

You can join our team as a volunteer Tech Mate and assist us in bringing devices and connection to people in these areas. Please apply here.

Making it Click: Connecting Rural Seniors is the brainchild of Leep, generously funded by Okta for Good and the Tides Foundation.

[1] Tides is a philanthropic partner and non-profit accelerator dedicated to building a world of shared prosperity and social justice.

[2] Okta is the world’s leading identity solution, providing cloud software that helps companies manage and secure user authentication into applications. The Okta for Good Fund’s mission is to strengthen the connections between people, technology and community. The Fund supports three major program areas: developing the ecosystem for technology innovation in the social sector; empowering Okta employees with the knowledge and tools they need to give back; and investing in underserved groups in Okta’s global communities.