The Critical Path Project runs three primary programs that support Digital Literacy and Internet Access.
1. We work in a variety of ways to provide access to the Internet to those least likely to have access. Since 1995, Critical Path has been at the forefront of enabling low-income people to get access to the Internet. From 1995-2008, we provided dial up Internet Access to the greater Philadelphia region and signed up over 10,000 people during that time to get Internet access in their own homes. In 1999, we opened our first public computer center at One Day At A Time (ODAAT) in North Philadelphia, ensuring that people without computer access at home, could get it in service organizations in the community that they already visited for services. Over time, we helped open several other public computer centers. In 2010, as part of the Freedom Rings Partnership with the Office of Innovation and Technology in the City of Philadelphia, Critical Path received funding to open or upgrade 27 Public Computer Center KEYSPOTS around the City of Philadelphia. These KEYSPOTS are critical in ensuring those without access have a place where they can do the daily tasks of life, apply for jobs, search for housing, access health information, or apply for benefits.
2. We provide digital literacy classes, which are a suite of computer classes and workshops to help you gain knowledge about computers and the Internet and begin to use these tools in your daily life. We have classes for beginners as well as ones for more advanced learners. Classes are typically one month long and class sessions happen twice a week for 2.5 hours each session. We typically have no more than 10 students in a class in order to provide you with individual attention. Workshops are usually one time skill building session and we host a regular Tuesday evening series. You can sign up for any of our classes or ask us to come to your organization and deliver these classes.
3. We provide a handful of unique technology services that allow communities and organizations to better communicate, organize, and share resources. We host FREE:
- Personal email accounts. Email accounts come with x amount of space and have no advertising. We collect very little personal information and we do not share information with any third party. We believe people are entitled to privacy and confidentiality on the Internet as much as we are able to provide it. Click here to get an Email Account.
- Electronic lists. We offer electronic lists for community groups and organizations to collaborate and share information widely either as a distribution list or as a discussion list. Again, we believe that groups organizing for social change or those who need to protect their communities (such as those working with sex workers, immigrants, or on medical marijuana) need a confidential and private space to discuss their goals and share information. Click here to get an Electronic list.
- Website hosting. If you are a non-profit or a community group trying to get up a website, we are happy to save you the cost of hosting your website. Our websites are not required to any size limits. Click here to get free website hosting for your website.
We work with an organization called MayFirst/PeopleLink, a politically progressive member-run and controlled internet service provider to provide these services. To read more about MayFirst, click here (link to partner page).