Comcast Internet Essentials | Making High-Speed Internet Accessible for Disabled People

student receives free ipad from comcast internet essentials

 Comcast Internet For Disabled People

Many of our households can possibly 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 Comcast Internet Essentials Program. With Internet Essentials laptops and internet access are available to some households at a low cost.

Comcast has recently announced a few exciting things regarding its Internet Essentials Laptop Program and making it accessible to more people. I was invited to a really cool holiday event. It was a great way to spend both Giving Tuesday and The International Day of People with Disabilities. The pictures say it all (more below).

Comcast Inclusion Rally for internet essentials program
With Comcast Internet Essentials, these PSD students are #ReadyForAnything.

Before I get to that, let me tell you about Comcast’s Internet Essentials Program, the nation’s largest, most comprehensive, internet adoption program for low-income households. Comcast has made brand new computers available to families for a very reasonable price.

A Comcast Disability Discount

There are so many great things about this. You know, I joined Facebook the year one of my kids was born. Next year at school, each student in his grade is assigned a laptop for the school year. I’m a Gen Xer myself, and I find that this is a real mental hurdle for parents my age and above to get over. The internet is not a big deal for our kids.

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 receive ipads from Comcast internet essentials program
What a great event–their faces say it all. #InternetEssentials

Just 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 have to constantly drive to their house with paper records and letters. And that has happened!

For people with disabilities, 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 Comcast Low-Income Program so important–accessibility.

Comcast’s 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 just visit: Comcast Internet Essentials

You can review how you qualify as a low income or disability household, how to apply and monitor the status of your application. 

I hope that you share this with families who you think will benefit from this. It’s really 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 Comcast Internet Essentials

To qualify for the Xfinity Internet Essentials, here is a list of who qualifies for Comcast Internet Essentials. Yes, it’s internet for people on disability, but it’s a lot more than that too.

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 definitely look into this. 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.

Comcast Customer Service for the Deaf

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

Well, kudos to Comcast for paving the way.

Internet without Barriers

Comcast has partnered with Connect Direct, a subsidiary of Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD). Together, they are providing 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 get connected to the Internet at home without barriers. 

Hopefully, more companies will follow suit.

Customer Service for the Deaf

To celebrate this milestone, Comcast 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–at the end of the announcements, every student was receiving an iPad. 

It was so fun to watch. Many of the kids there 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.

Whew! It’s a lot of information for one blog post. To recap, here are the topics and I’m hyperlinking them for you to learn more. Comcast Internet Essentials (low-cost internet for low income and disabled households)

Comcast Internet essentials program low cost high speed internet
“For people without disabilities, technology makes things easier. For people with disabilities, technology makes things possible.”

This post is sponsored by Comcast Internet Essentials Program. All opinions are my own.