I had the chance to attend a super cool event at Pennsylvania School for the Deaf to celebrate teh Xfinity Essentials program. Many of our households could benefit from this. Plus, I know I have a lot of teachers in my audience.

Hopefully, you have families, guidance counselors, and school social workers who will benefit from the Xfinity Essentials Program. And, that you will share this information with them.

With Xfinity Internet Essentials, laptops and internet access are available to some households at a low cost.

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Discount Internet For Disabled People

Xfinity has recently announced a few exciting things regarding its Internet Essentials Laptop Program and making it accessible to more disabled people.

Students were thrilled to receive free iPads and free internet service from Xfinity Essentials.
With Comcast Internet Essentials, these PSD students are #ReadyForAnything.

I was invited to a cool holiday event to celebrate this announcement. It was a great way to spend Giving Tuesday and The International Day of People with Disabilities, which happened to be on the same day that year.

To celebrate this milestone, Xfinity Executives and even the Mayor of Philadelphia gathered at PA School for the Deaf last Tuesday. And I was invited.

We had a big secret to keep–every student received an iPad at the end of the announcements. 

Let me tell you about the Xfinity Internet Essentials Program, the nation’s largest, most comprehensive internet program for low-income and disability households.

Xfinity has made brand-new computers available to families for a very reasonable price.

Xfinity Disability Discount

There are so many great things about Xfinity disability discount.

I’m a Gen Xer, and I find this a real mental hurdle for parents my age and above to overcome. The internet is not a big deal for our kids.

When my son was in 5th grade, every student at his school is assigned a laptop for the school year. For perspective, I joined Facebook the same year he was born. My school didn’t even have computers!

Asking them to get excited about the internet is like asking us to get excited about refrigerators or televisions (both things my grandmother grew up without).

And it’s not just about Facebook and social media.

Students at PSD received ipads from Xfinity internet essentials program.
What a great event–their faces say it all. #InternetEssentials

Like the program name says, the internet is essential to life now. And having access is a great equalizer. I work as an advocate for many low-income families, and it is a real struggle for them to get by without a computer and internet service.

It makes communicating with the school much more difficult. As if the IEP process wasn’t slow enough, imagine what it’s like when I constantly drive to their house with paper records and letters. And that has happened!

For disabled people, the “digital divide” is even greater. According to the Pew Research Center, 23 percent of people with disabilities say they never go online, and 57 percent say they do not even have a home broadband subscription. 

This is what makes the Xfinity Low-Income Program so important–accessibility.

The Xfinity Internet Essentials Program can change that for a household.

Some parts of the program:

  • Low-Cost Computers
  • High-speed internet connection at home for $9.95 a month
  • Training in how to use a computer and the internet (safety, basics)
  • Training in different languages, including American Sign Language (ASL)
  • No Contract or Installation Fee

Internet Essentials-Low Cost Computer and Internet Access

To apply, visit their website.

You can review if you qualify as a low-income or disabled household. They also have the information for how to apply for the Xfinity low-income internet. And, you can monitor the status of your application. 

I hope you share this information about Xfinity Essentials with families you think will benefit from this. It’s fantastic!

PA school for the deaf students receive free ipads and comcast internet essentials.
The Internet can be the great equalizer, and with Comcast Internet Essentials, these students are ready for anything.

How to Apply for Xfinity Essentials

To qualify for the Xfinity Internet Essentials, here is a list of who qualifies for Xfinity Internet Essentials. Yes, it’s discounted internet for people with a disability, but it’s much more than that.

You will need to show proof of one of the following (in addition to meeting other requirements):

  • MEDICAID: card or most recent eligibility letter.
  • Public housing assistance documentation such as your lease, housing assistance payment (HAP) contract, or eligibility documentation from HUD.
  • SNAP: a letter indicating you are approved for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.
  • TANF: eligibility letter for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
  • SSI: eligibility letter for Supplemental Security Income.
  • NSLP/Head Start: a copy of a letter indicating current participation in the National School Lunch Program or Head Start, with your child’s name, the school name, and the address of where you are requesting service.
  • LIHEAP: a letter confirming your eligibility for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
  • WIC: eligibility letter for the Women, Infants, and Children program.
  • FEDERAL PELL GRANT: (Colorado and Illinois only) documentation from your community college’s financial aid office.
  • VA PENSION: veterans pension eligibility determination letter from the Veterans Administration.
  • Tribal assistance eligibility letter, including TTANF, FDPIR, etc.

Remember, in PA, we have expanded Medicaid eligibility for disabled children, so look into this if you haven’t already applied.

I used the term Xfinity because it also is a Comcast thing–and I want folks to know that Comcast Internet for Low-Income Families is the same as Xfinity Internet Essentials program.

What type of internet is Xfinity essentials?

Internet Essentials: 50/10 Mbps internet service for just $9.95 a month plus tax.

Internet Essentials Plus: 100/20 Mbps internet service for just $29.95 a month plus tax.

No activation fees and no equipment rental fees.

Can I get cable with Xfinity Internet Essentials?

For just $24.99 a month, families can receive 100 channels through Xfinity’s most basic package. 

Xfinity/Comcast also offers cheap internet (at $14.99 a month) to low-income customers who receive public assistance, via the Internet Essentials program.

Customer Service for the Deaf

This is so amazing! Did you know that ASL is this country’s 4th most popular language? Isn’t that crazy? When I read that statistic, I couldn’t believe we don’t see more ASL available in different places.

Well, kudos to Comcast/Xfinity for paving the way.

Internet without Barriers

Comcast has partnered with Connect Direct, a subsidiary of Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD). Together, they provide customer service support via ASL for Internet Essentials, Xfinity Internet, and general Xfinity billing questions.

It is called ASL Now.

This is a first for the cable industry, and it helps to further address the digital divide for Americans with disabilities by ensuring that members of the deaf community can connect to the Internet at home without barriers. 

YouTube video

Hopefully, more companies will follow suit.

Many of the kids at this event were teens. You could tell they were a little bored with parts of the presentation–totally normal behavior for teenagers.

Then it was announced (and yes, ASL interpreters were there the entire time) that each student would receive an iPad. At first, it didn’t sink in. Then their eyes got wide, and cheers erupted as they realized what was happening.

It was a great moment to watch.

With the Xfinity Internet essentials program, households can get low-cost high speed internet.
“For people without disabilities, technology makes things easier. For people with disabilities, technology makes things possible.”

Comcast Internet Essentials Program sponsors this post. All opinions are my own.

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