DOWNEY – The Southern California Resource Services for Independent Living (SCRS-IL) partnered with Neighbor’s Empowering Youth (NEY) to give away 20 accessibility-friendly HP laptop computers to disabled individuals Wednesday evening in an effort to bridge the “digital divide” of accessible technology.
SCRS-IL has worked to empower over 50,000 persons with disabilities since 1979. The organization offers several resources, workshops and programs in an effort to help those who are disabled live a more independent life.
Wednesday’s presentation was the result of a new partnership between SCRS-IL and NEY. NEY is a nonprofit organization located in Altadena that provide services to underprivileged youth.
“What they do is they make technology accessible…we empower people with disabilities to live independent lives,” said Mario Galdamez, Deputy Director of SCRS-IL. “So what we decided was to combine what we both do: they provide technology to empower, and we provide resources to empower. So what we did is actually created a grant to assist people with disabilities and provide them with accessible technology, and that’s what these twenty laptops are here for today.”
NEY Inc. Board Member Michael Lattimore described NEY as “firestarters.”
“We want to put technology in the hands of clients and different agencies, and then light the fire and see where they go with it,” said Lattimore. “…it’s a perfect synergy, perfect partnership. And it was kind of serendipity the way that, you know, we connected – our agencies came together. We’re really grateful to be able to be a part of this equation.
Downey Mayor Alex Saab was on hand at Wednesday’s presentation, and presented both SCRS-IL and NEY with certificates praising the work done by both organizations.
“I think that what is happening here is so important in our community,” said Saab, addressing those in attendance. “…you are all ambassadors of the cause, and I promise to you I too will be an ambassador; I’m going to continue to push.”
SCRS-IL and NEY now hope to go beyond Wednesday’s laptop presentation. According to Galdamez, the organizations’ plan is to now gain local community college support in an effort to help disabled individuals and underprivileged youth gain access into the college system, access any financial aid available, and still provide ongoing case management and peer counseling until said individuals gain their degree.
For more information on SCRS-IL, please visit scrs-ilc.org.