Comcast, SPIN Unveil New Digital Literacy Lab to Prepare Teens and Adults with Disabilities for 21st Century Jobs

PHILADELPHIA, PA (November 10, 2016) – SPIN (Special People in Northeast), a leading provider of support to people with autism and intellectual disabilities across Southeastern Pennsylvania, and Comcast Corporation held an unveiling ceremony today to celebrate the opening of the new Comcast NBCUniversal Digital Literacy Lab.


Located at SPIN’s Norcom Community Center in Northeast Philadelphia, the lab will prepare high school students and adults with disabilities for meaningful employment and more independent lives through the use of digital technology. SPIN received a $20,000 grant from Comcast to make this initiative possible.


The new Comcast Digital Literacy Lab offers 20 computers and five tablets with a variety of assistive software and hardware. For individuals with limited physical and communication ability, the lab provides eye-controlled devices that allow them to operate tablets and generate messages with the natural movement of their eyes. Combined with the ongoing support of communication and employment specialists, these technologies will empower more than 300 high school students and adults to develop independence and digital-first workplace skills.


“People with intellectual disability are often unemployed or under-employed in the community, despite their ability and willingness to engage in meaningful work,” says SPIN CEO, Kathy Brown McHale. “We address this disparity by educating employers and providing youth and adults the skills they need to lead more independent, fulfilling lives.”


The grant will also support SPIN’s Disability Digital Literacy Expo. Scheduled for the Spring of 2017, the expo will convene over 200 teachers, employers, people with disabilities and their families to explore technologies for augmented/alternative communication (AAC), independent living, employment, social media self-advocacy, and several other areas. SPIN will also promote Comcast’s Internet Essentials Program, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive high-speed Internet adoption program for low-income Americans, to families in the community to ensure that all children have access to affordable, high-speed internet to support learning and literacy at home.


“Building real-world digital skills not only addresses under-employment and workforce training, it helps break down one of the barriers to closing the digital divide for populations in need,” said Robert Smith, Regional Vice President of Community Investment at Comcast. “The digital divide can impact families in many ways and Comcast is committed to help closing it by offering Internet Essentials and partnering with organizations such as SPIN to help people get the skills they need to take advantage of all the resources the internet has to offer.”


About SPIN

SPIN (Special People in Northeast) is a leading provider of services and supports to people of all ages with autism and intellectual/developmental disability (ID/DD) across Southeastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. SPIN also provides high-quality, early childhood education for children of all abilities. SPIN has been named a Top Workplace for the seventh consecutive year by, and an Autism Center for Excellence by Community Behavioral Health. SPIN is the first-ever winner of the Wawa Foundation Hero Award. Visit for more information.


Contact: Adam Hymans, 215.796.7759,
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