As I’ve mentioned here frequently, the elderly are one major segment of the US population who are most likely to be adversely affected by the upcoming transition to digital television broadcasts. They are least likely to be technology-savvy, and most likely to depend on television broadcasts for their entertainment and information. Add the fact that until recently, residents of nursing homes and similar group residences were not eligible for converter box coupons, and you’ve got a big problem brewing.
Fortunately, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has recognized this problem — albeit a bit late in the game — and will be giving the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) a $2.7 million grant to help seniors make the transition. The program will run through April 2009. According to n4a, the group hopes to reach 250,000 seniors who need help with getting a converter box installed or other problems so that they can continue to get television after the February 17, 2009 transition date.
More information about the transition and seniors can be found at the n4a Web site at http://www.n4a.org/resources-publications/?fa=view-item&id=155.