The 2022 Digital Inclusion Trailblazers application window opened June 1 and will remain open until June 30. NDIA welcomes applications from towns, cities, and county-level governments. 

The Digital Inclusion Trailblazers Program recognizes local governments that are leading the way in advancing digital equity for their communities. The Trailblazers webpage includes a list of the recognized Trailblazer communities, along with a publicly available collection of local government initiatives promoting digital skills, device access,  as well as broadband access and adoption for people impacted by the digital divide. The list also serves as an honor roll for local governments that go above and beyond their mandates to advance digital equity. 

NDIA first launched Trailblazers in 2016 as an advocacy tool for city, town, state, and national digital inclusion leadership and as a source of great examples for communities looking to replicate successful digital inclusion models. 

With help from a working group of our affiliates, NDIA identifies local governments that are Digital Inclusion Trailblazers using six indicators based on documentation submitted by the candidates:

  1. Your local government has, or directly funds, at least one full-time staff dedicated to digital  inclusion initiatives, policies, and/or programs.
  2. Your local government has a digital inclusion plan or is in the process of developing a plan.
  3. Local government representatives participate in an open-access digital inclusion coalition.
  4. Your local government is in the process of surveying, or has published research on, internet access and use by local residents.
  5. Your local government directly funds community digital inclusion programming.
  6. Your local government is taking steps to increase affordability of home broadband service.

Advocates, invite city, town, and county-level governments in your state to submit a Trailblazers application to showcase their success in advancing digital inclusion! 

Local government leaders, learn more about Digital Inclusion Trailblazers and apply today!

Learn from the Success of Trailblazers – view the practices and procedures used by current awardees in pushing the envelope of digital inclusion in their service areas

NDIA will feature all localities that have been awarded the Trailblazers distinction on the NDIA Digital Inclusion Trailblazers page. The page includes links to strategic plans, reports, survey research, and coalition groups; these documents are a helpful starting place for localities interested in beginning or expanding digital inclusion work.