SupportMyMac is proud to be partnering with Ottawa based non-profit Connected Canadians and Ottawa start-up Ruckify to provide hardware and technical support help seniors stay connected through technology. Read to the end to see how you can help with this COVID-19 initiative.
Increased isolation due to COVID-19 restrictions means that providing technology to seniors is now even more important than ever.
“Buying groceries, learning how to video chat because people aren’t able to visit them as easily anymore, being able to pay bills; those are the sort of things that seniors need to be able to do online now,” explains Emily Jones Joanisse, co-founder and CEO of Connected Canadians.
Here’s how this partnership came to fruition:
The Non-Profit: Connected Canadians
Connected Canadians is an Ottawa non-profit organization. Their mandate is to reduce isolation and loneliness amongst older adults by promoting digital literacy skills and providing technology training and support.
Connected Canadians uses a customized, hands-on learning centred approach. They pair volunteers with a high comfort level in technology with senior clients. Before the social distancing restrictions, they worked side-by-side, either one-on-one or in group workshops, to tackle clients’ various technology challenges.
The Device Source: Ruckify
Ruckify is an online, peer-to-peer rental marketplace that started in Ottawa. Together with United Way of Eastern Ontario, they saw a need to get technology to senior citizens and isolated individuals. They partnered with Connected Canadians to allow Ruckify users to lend or donate their iPads, iPhones, smartphones and tablets to the program.
For this initiative, Ruckify is picking up the devices, sanitizing them, and delivering them to Connected Canadians. This was covered in an Ottawa Business Journal article on March 27 2020, and the partnership with Connected Canadians was covered in a CTV News article on April 17 2020.
The Technology Partner: SupportMyMac
When our founder and CEO Sam Arseneau read that Ruckify and Connected Canadians were collaborating on this initiative, he knew that his team’s skillset and experience would be the perfect addition to the partnership.
SupportMyMac built and set up a Mobile Device Management (MDM) platform similar to this one so that Connected Canadians can efficiently manage the security and deployment of their devices to seniors.
UPDATE: JAMF, the manufacturer of the Mobile Device Management we used, published a story about the project! Check it out.
“We set up the technology to allow the deployment and management of the devices,” explains Sam. “Our team put together the platform that will allow Connected Canadians to efficiently set up the apps, security controls and restrictions, and to ensure privacy and accessibility.” For example, the devices will be passcode protected for security, but if someone forgets their passcode the device can be unlocked remotely.
“We want it to be a positive, drama-free experience for everyone using the devices,” says Sam, quoting the SupportMyMac slogan of Drama-Free IT.
How you can help
(1) By Lending Out Your Devices
If you wish to lend out devices for this initiative, please do so via Ruckify’s donation page.
(2) By Donating Devices
If you have devices that you’d like to donate, please either:
- send us an email to arrange drop off at the SupportMyMac office, or
- sign up through Ruckify’s donation page.
Please note that the preferred minimum requirement of the mobile devices is:
- iPhone 6s and newer
- iPad, 9.7 inch (or more) screen, 5th generation, data-enabled SIM (Preferred model: this one or newer)
- All iPads to be Wi-Fi + Cellular models with data plans.
- All the phones to have data plans as well.
(3) Through a Financial Contribution
If you feel called to donate financially, you can do so using the following methods:
- Through the Connected Canadians donation page. This is through Paypal, and uses either your Paypal account or a credit card.
- By sending an Interac e-transfer to which would mean no surcharge is deducted on their end. They set up their account to deposit the money directly, without requiring a password.
Together, let’s help seniors #StayConnected!