Sokaogon Chippewa Community News

Tablets Increase Online Access for Elders

By Richard D. Ackley, Jr.
Sokaogon Chippewa Community leaders continue to encourage Tribal Members to stay close to home as a way to stay safe as during the COVID-19 pandemic. Technology has the ability to help people stay in contact with family and friends however the lack of technology remains a concern, especially for Elders.
“The Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council wants to help get technology out to the people, in general, and fulfill its current ongoing funding goals of Title III and VI, in specific,” Pete McGeshick, III, Elders Services Director, said.
Pete contacted Lisa Lechterman at Cellcom to see about accessing a computer tablet program. “I really want to make sure that Lisa is recognized as she is our Sales Representative from Cellcom,“ he said.
A short time later, Cellcom responded with positive news. Last Friday, Laura Hoppe, a Cellcom Business Sales Consultant from Shawano, arrived with 30 tablets.
Pete said that the cost was $30 for each tablet. Laura said, “These tablets are actually surplus items and sell in the range of $139 to $179 each. I think this is a great opportunity for the Elder program to provide a way to communicate with family and friends, while still being able to maintain social distancing.”
Pete said that the availability of tablets allows Elders to virtually talk with family and friends and support virtual activities including educational and fun games such as virtual bingo, as well as gather for meetings.
Volunteers will be sought out to assist in training people who do not have technology experience, and Pete will be sending out surveys during the weekly food delivery program.
He noted that there is a large number of Elders, exceeding the number of tablets available at this time, so the planned policy is to allow users to have access to the tablets that will be similar to signing out a library book.
For more information on the tablets, please contact Pete at 715-622-0315.