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Home » Policy & Funding » School Technology » Digital Equity and Inclusion

Digital Equity and Inclusion


Review the following DEI affiliates, support materials, organizations, and partners.

Contact Information

KC Merchant he/him
Digital Equity & Inclusion Program Supervisor

Digital equity and inclusion (DEI) in education is the push for all students no matter their geography, socioeconomic status, race, or school district to have equitable access to the same quality of education.

Students having equitable access to technology is essential in having a quality education, the skills and training for the modern workforce, and engagement in society and civics.  

DEI Definitions

As defined by OSPI's EdTech Department, for the purposes of the DEI Grant, is every student having access to an assigned device that is exclusively theirs. This device may or may not go home with the student, but the student has access to this device when needed. 

As defined by OSPI's EdTech Department, for the purposes of the DEI Grant, is hardware that supports many students in different ways. For Example, an interactive board is considered inclusive because it supports students with amplified audio and closed-captioning and is adjustable. Amplified audio: supports hard-of-hearing,  and clear audio for students needing language support and supports equal access to a speaker regardless of seating. Supports multiple students at once in multiple ways. 

As defined by OSPI's EdTech Department, for the purposes of the DEI Grant, is hardware that supports individual students to have equitable access to learning. Examples; a modified input device for a tablet, a brail generating tablet, an in-ear translator, or an assistive hearing device. Supports a single student, often in a specialized way as needed by that student. 

Federal Initiatives

  • The Digital Equity Act of 2021 shows the dedication to closing the digital divide at the national level. Now more than ever, digital equity has the spotlight at the federal level and is funding $2.75 billion dollars to promote digital equity and inclusion.   
  • The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a program to support households with fast, low cost or free internet. 

State Initiatives

The Washington Statewide Broadband Act (under RCW 43.330.536) aims to close the digital divide by providing: 

  • By 2024: 25/3 megabits per second (Mbps) scalable 
  • By 2026: 1/1 gigabit per second (Gbps) all anchor institutions 
  • By 2028: 150/150 Mbps all residents and businesses 

The Department of Commerce has also created digital equity forums, funded digital navigator programs, and provided drive-in hotspots for areas without connectivity. 

OSPI Initiatives

Funded through House Bill 1365, the OSPI EdTech department supported districts across the state in shoring up the 1:1 programs, adopting and training the use of inclusive and adaptive technologies, and having the support staff to fund those initiatives.  

Digital Equity and Inclusion Grant

An essential part of implementing OSPI’s educational technology standards is advocating for sufficient funding for all districts to help close opportunity gaps related to educational technology.