Community Outreach and Accessibility Development

VISTA Name: 
Anita Lie
Program Start: 
Program End: 
Project Description: 

Since it opened over 8 years ago, the DISKovery Center has provided technology education services to over 3,000 community members in a wide range of skills and computer applications. Over 100 members, who include youth, adults, and seniors, enroll in over 20 classes at the DISKovery Center’s programs every quarter.

The DISKovery Center is seeking a full-time VISTA volunteer (monthly stipend provided) to help build the capacity of the Center to reach out to learners with physical and developmental disabilities through assistive technology, program planning, staff training, and community outreach. The VISTA member will assist the program manager with a variety of responsibilities, including the following duties:

• Develop strategies for outreach to persons with disabilities

• Collaborate with other organizations to develop outreach plans to expand our presence in the disabled community.

• Participate in assistive technology trainings provided by our collaborators to become an in-house accessibility specialist, who will then train other staff on teaching strategies

• Develop resources for accessibility including training materials for both staff and individuals with disabilities

• Help develop a new space plan at the center for better accessibility

• Help establish and coordinate a committee composed of staff, members and volunteers to inform the center on disability access needs.

• Help develop a new intake survey and registration process incorporating disability information, and revamp the current database to track this information.

Project Outcome: 

Our CTC VISTA is the DISKovery Centers Accessibility Coordinator. She coordinated all of the meetings with staff and project partners. She also became our in-house AT specialist, and helped recommend our software and hardware purchases. She has developed advanced curriculum at Pacific Bridge. She has also coordinated and facilitated the access committee meetings. Our VISTA has also coordinated our Computer Adoption Program and has developed curriculum for the program. She has also trained staff on the Ubuntu Operating system so that staff can then teach the participants enrolled in our Computer Adoption Program.

Although we have partnered with other organizations that have given us a small number of users with disabilities, we are still short of our goals. Our VISTA has assisted on our outreach plan, and has developed outreach materials but both our centers in Little Tokyo and Echo Park are struggling increase our numbers.

Impact Quote: 

Our VISTA has been invaluable in assisting the center with its accessibility goals, and has been central in coordinating all aspects of the DISK4All Project. She has been committed to utilizing information and communications technologies to address the needs of our communities. Without our VISTA we would not have the staff nor capacity to achieve our accessibility goals.”
- Steve Wong, supervisor

Transmission Project