What is technology poverty?

A major issue of our time

Canadians are increasingly familiar with the expression “digital divide,” a term describing the vast difference in computer and internet access between different societal groups. This divide is very much real. It separates us among racial, cultural and socio-economic lines and has a long-term detrimental impact on our overall society.

Results of the digital divide: we call it “technology poverty”

“Technology poverty” is broadly definable as an absence of sufficient technology causing wealth and lifestyle inequalities that lead to detrimental impacts on society. These include physical and mental health issues, lost education opportunities, reduced income-earning abilities, food insecurity, compromised personal safety and more. Specifically, Technology Helps uses this term in the … Read More

Evidence of the divide is overwhelming

Only 59 per cent of Canada’s lowest income homes have internet access, compared to 98 per cent of Canada’s highest income households. In rural areas—where the majority of Canada’s Indigenous people are located—only 40.8 per cent have access to broadband speeds sufficient to effectively use computer and online resources—compared to 87 per cent for other Canadians. Those are just a handful of the many statistics illustrating the depth of technology poverty.

Beyond internet access, many lack the technology to use it

In midst of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, over 4.4 million North American households with children are without consistent computer access for online learning. The United Nations Children fund estimates that 463 million children worldwide—about one in three—lack … Read More

The 2020 pandemic is causing unrecognized problems

The increase in technology needs for students and economically disadvantaged people of all ages is beginning to receive more attention. But there are also less-visible factors worsening pandemic-era technology poverty. Statistics Canada reports that 44 per cent of Canadians have increased their spending on computers, laptops and tablets since the pandemic’s onset, driving e-commerce sales by as much as two-thirds. But much of this is related to … Read More

Pandemic-related problems: more than just a lack of technology

More than ever, the fight to end technology poverty demands increased education and internet security awareness. Only 57 per cent of Canadians consider themselves “digitally literate,” speaking to the need for education and assistance, particularly as … Read More

Technology poverty doesn’t just affect vulnerable people, it affects the organizations who serve them

Charities and not-for-profits are vital institutions. When technology issues restrict the ability to effectively achieve their missions, it is not just them but entire communities that are held back. Restricted technology budgets, aging equipment, old methods and a lack of knowledge about modern information security can combine to form major obstacles that inhibit organizations and make them … Read More

Read more on how technology poverty affects charities and not-for profits here
Contact our help desk for non-profit-oriented advice and support here

Progress is being made but more is needed

Around the world, leaders are recognizing how technology poverty inhibits sustainable development and are taking steps. The World Health Organization has recognized that digital technologies, many depending on computer and internet technology, will be crucial to advancing global health. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) identifies in its 2020 OECD Science, Technology and Innovation Outlook that “digital technologies are transforming our economies but are also raising new inclusiveness challenges” and “high levels of inequality do not only negatively affect wellbeing and social cohesion, but may also … Read More

Where does Technology Helps come in?

Seeing that technology poverty is widespread and still growing, we’ve identified the need for long-term strategic approaches and broken them into two key areas of focus. We solve real-time, on-the-ground problems for both not-for-profit organizations and the individuals they serve through superior, managed IT solutions. Recognizing that helping one organization can ultimately help thousands of people, we provide ongoing support through consultation, IT sustainability planning and round-the-clock help desk access that fits the … Read More

Ask us anything

Whatever your need is, we’ll look for a solution. Whether that’s managed IT support for non-profit organizations and charities, helping put needed technology into the hands of vulnerable community members, or simply supplying a little bit of advice, we’re here to help. It’s our mission.