Seattle Technology Access and Adoption Study

Learn about our work on the Seattle Technology Access and Adoption Study

Project Goal

Inclusive Data’s goal on this project was to connect with diverse groups of community stakeholders with different backgrounds, lived experiences, who also speak different languages and learn what their technology needs were.

Our Role

Inclusive Data performed the literature review, qualitative research, and supported the quantitative research for the report.

Executive Summary

This qualitative research is a component of the 2023 Seattle Technology Access and Adoption Study aimed to understand community needs regarding technology access and adoption among underrepresented communities. The City’s overall study includes preliminary design research, a broad population survey, and focus groups. This report covers the results of the preliminary assessment of community priorities and recommendations (Phase 1) and the extensive Phase II results from 40 focus groups conducted with key communities, many of which are covered populations under the federal Digital Equity Act and State legislation defining underserved populations. Both phases were conducted by Inclusive Data, a research and consulting firm contracted by the City of Seattle Department of Information Technology. Funding for this research was provided by the City with additional support for focus groups provided by the Washington Department of Commerce – State Broadband Office.

The preliminary research (Phase 1), conducted in 2022, involved over 200 participants and included questions about outreach priorities, community challenges, priorities for assistance, support needs, Internet and technology usage experience, and demographic information. This research served as a co-design process, engaging community members and gathering valuable insights that informed the general population survey and focus groups conducted in 2023.

To supplement the City’s general population survey data, 40 in depth focus groups were conducted with a total of 203 individuals across 10 focus populations representing the diverse population of Seattle. The focus populations included Black/African American, African Diaspora, disability, Khmer-speaking, Spanish-speaking from Mexico, Spanish-speaking from Central or South America, Cantonese-speaking, Vietnamese-speaking, housing insecure, and veterans. The African Diaspora focus groups included one (1) group held in Oromo, one (1) group held in Somali, and two (2) groups held in English for participants from any part of Africa.

Intersectionality and inclusion were prioritized, and four (4) subgroups were represented in each focus population: elders (older adults aged 55+), age mix, housing insecure, and community workers with lived experience. Community workers are service providers who work directly with community members such as school aides and non-profit employees. These service providers have lived experience as members of their communities, offering a unique and important perspective in the research.

Inclusive Data convened a Community Advisory Board (CAB) consisting of six (6) individuals with experience in advocating for digital equity and community-centered work to provide input on research methods, questions, and data analysis. The CAB members represented Spanish, Oromo, and Khmer speakers, as well as the disability and Black/African American communities to ensure diverse perspectives in the design, implementation, and evaluation of the research.

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Reference Material

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