A new report by the Public Policy Institue of California has found that Latinos are falling behind in the digital divide. In California, just four in ten Latinos have internet access at home, while 77 percent of Asian-Americans, 76 percent of whites and 70 percent of blacks are on-line at home. The majorities of people within each ethnicity interviewed indicated that internet access was important.
Considering how quickly information moves on the internet, the conveniences, and even cost savings of purchasing certain items on-line, the Latino community, as a whole, is at a clear disadvantage in not getting up to speed with current technology. Additionally, Latino school children could suffer for not growing up in homes where technology is available to access the internet to complete homework assignments, learn how search databases, and even communicate with instructors and classmates.
The digital divide is clearly an issue that the members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus should address, and it seems that they already are atempting to do so with a Task Force to focus on Corporate America/Technology, Communications, & the Arts. I certainly hope that the Caucus reads this study and summons some of the experts in access to technology to devise policies to tackle the digital divide in our communities. Congressman Joe Baca is heading this task force, and from the looks of his own website… well you be the judge.