Gov. Walker: Announces telecommunication grants to non-profit organizations

Contact: Cullen Werwie, 608-267-7303

MADISON – Governor Scott Walker announced today that several non-profit organizations around the state will receive grants totaling $500,000 from Wisconsin’s Universal Service Fund (USF) Non-Profit Access program.

“We’re pleased to offer these non-profit access grants to help low-income and disabled Wisconsinites have access to telecommunication services throughout the state,” said Governor Scott Walker.

The USF Non-Profit Access Program is part of the Universal Service Fund created under Wisconsin law. The program awards grants annually to non-profit community centers, task forces, educational facilities and public health agencies. These grants help low income and disabled customers access telecommunications services and assists in providing access to advanced telecommunications services to the public. The grants help non-profits to purchase telecommunication equipment to promote affordable basic telecommunications services and provide access to advanced technological services. This year, 32 organizations requested approximately $685,000 from the fund for the 2011 fiscal year with 29 being selected as grant recipients and grant awards totaling $500,000.

The Non-Profit Access grant helps fund improvements to provide access to essential telecommunications, training, equipment, and education throughout Wisconsin. Since the program began in 2001, the Telecommunications Grant Program has awarded over $4 million to Wisconsin non-profits.

The following non-profit organizations received Wisconsin USF grants:

* Access to Independence Inc., in Madison, received $22,325 to provide telephone outreach and access program to individuals in four southern WI counties.

* Adult Learning Center, in Milwaukee, received $13,945 to fund internet access, technical support, and training for low-income individuals at the Online Learning Computer Lab.

* Agape Community Center, Milwaukee, received $17,194 to provide technical support for the community Technology Center afterschool and adult career readiness programs.

* Badger Associates of Blind and Visually Impaired, in Milwaukee, received $7,234 to purchase equipment that enables visually-impaired and sighted technicians to remotely access and control an end user’s computer and $7,002 to purchase Apple software and devices to train and to provide telecommunications access to the blind and visually impaired.

* Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, in Milwaukee, received $28,310 to renovate the Teen Technology Center at the Mary Ryan Boys and girls Club for under-served.

* Boys and Girls Club of Washington County, in West Bend, received $20,000 to provide equipment and software at its computer lab in West Bend for the afterschool program for low-income and at-risk youth.

* Center for Communication Hearing and Deafness, in West Allis, received $7,000 to provide in home assistance to low-income, disabled individuals requiring assistance installing and using specialized telecommunications equipment.

* Center for Independent Living for Western Wisconsin, in Menomonie, received $15,000 to provide outreach assistance to disabled individuals in west central WI.

* Community Action Coalition for South Central Wisconsin, in Madison, received $10,000 to assist low-income clients in obtaining or maintaining basic telephone service.

* Community Advocates, in Milwaukee, received $70,000 to assist low-income households regain and maintain basic telephone service.

* DANEnet, in Madison, received $24,813 to provide upgrades and maintenance for public-access computer labs in six Madison locations.

* Hunger Task Force, in Milwaukee, received $15,040 to provide computer, internet access and technology classes to low-income youth, seniors, and adults.

* Independent Living Inc., in Madison, received $9,315 to improve the computer labs at the two senior apartment complexes in Madison and Fitchburg to provide internet, video-communication, e-mail access and educational opportunities for seniors and community members.

* Independent Living Resources Inc., in La Crosse, received $15,000 to provide outreach, information, technical assistance and skill training to low-income individuals with disabilities needing telecommunication service and devices.

* Indianhead Community Action Agency, in Ladysmith, received $32,267 to provide computer and internet access to low-income individuals and persons with disabilities in Rusk, Washburn, and Sawyer Counties at participating adult literacy drop-in centers.

* Midstate Independent Living Consultants, in Stevens Point, received $5,574 to provide co-pay for speech and mobility TEPP recipients and provide outreach and demonstrations on availability of specialized telecommunications equipment.

* Neighborhood House of Milwaukee, in Milwaukee, received $19,339 to purchase equipment and provide staff to offer instruction in the classroom and at the computer lab on accessing public benefits.

* New Concept Self Development Center, in Milwaukee, received $10,920 to provide internet access at the computer lab at the George Sanders Father’s Resource Center for low-income fathers and their families for employment searches.

* North Country Independent living, in Superior, received $25,390 to provide outreach and assistance to consumers and providers in eight counties and four tribes on specialized telecommunications equipment and TEPP funding.

* Options for Independent Living, in Green Bay, received $10,000 to provide outreach and access to specialized telecommunications equipment by promoting TEPP, providing in-home assistance for installing equipment and proving co-pay for eligible TEPP applicants.

* St. Catherine Residence, in Milwaukee, received $4,000 to provide support to computer resource lab to enable low-income, disabled women to have access to computers and the internet and to upgrade their computer skills.

* Society’s Assets, in Racine, received $20,000 to provide outreach and access to specialized telecommunications equipment to disabled individuals with expanded outreach to Hispanic community and provide co-payment for low-income qualified TEPP recipients.

* United Community Center, in Milwaukee, received $600 to purchase telecommunications equipment to serve senior citizens and Spanish-speaking residents.

* University of Wisconsin-Stout, in Menomonie, received $16,768 to train staff at independent living centers on assistive telecommunications equipment and technology.

* Wisconsin Council of Blind and Visually Impaired, in Madison, received $19,786 to provide instruction on computer adaptive techniques to the elderly with low vision at senior centers in Madison and Eau Claire.

* Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp., in Milwaukee, received $10,000 to provide telecommunications training and services to low-income and disabled women entrepreneurs in rural areas.

For more information about Wisconsin’s USF programs or for organization grant application information, visit: