Microsoft Grant Will Create Neighborhood Computer Labs for Low-Income Philadelphia Seniors

PHILADELPHIA, Pa., October 20, 1998 — As part of its ongoing Microsoft Senior Initiative, Microsoft Corp. today announced it is awarding a grant of hardware and software to the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging (PCA). PCA will use the grant, totaling more than $90,000, to create computer labs in senior centers in low-income Philadelphia neighborhoods. The non-profit group currently provides more than 70,000 older Philadelphians with care and services to maximize their independence and productivity.

And today at the PCA Age Expo in Philadelphia, Microsoft Senior Initiative Director Craig Spiezle and members of his team will be on hand to demonstrate the latest in computer technology to visitors at the East Coast’s premier event for people over 50.

“Microsoft has witnessed tremendous receptivity to computer technology among mature Americans through our involvement in these programs,” Spiezle said. “Across the country, senior centers, libraries, and community colleges are packed with seniors who have the desire to learn.”

Through partnerships with non-profit organizations like PCA, as well as industry partners and government agencies, the Microsoft Senior Initiative aims to give more seniors access to technology. According to statistics from the National Council on Aging, Americans over the age of 60 represent the fastest-growing population of computer users, but less than 5 percent of senior households own and use computers. Spiezle views these numbers as a challenge, and notes that the older generation’s views of technology differ dramatically from other segments of the population. But he also notes that through education seniors are coming to realize that technology represents “the opportunity to be employed in a good paying job, extend one’s independence, and allow individuals to remain productive and creative.”

The grant to the PCA is part of the Microsoft Senior Initiative’s goal to provide information access and training to more than 250,000 seniors, and directly benefit more than 1 million people by the year 2000.

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