ERIC Number: ED442054
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000
Reference Count: N/A
Cybercounseling and Empowerment: Bridging the Digital Divide.
Lee, Courtland C.
As helping professions enter the 21st century and nascent network technologies realize their full potential as therapeutic and educational modalities, it is an ethical and moral imperative that the digital divide be bridged. It is important that those in counseling and related fields take active steps to ensure that cybercounseling is available to all clients regardless of their social or economic status. The following four guidelines focus on this goal. First, counselors should conduct an audit of their community, assess where the digital divide exists, and investigate who has limited or no computer access. Then, counselors should form consultative relationships with key players in their community who could partner with each other to make technology hardware and software available to those with limited access. When necessary and appropriate, counselors should help clients develop competencies necessary to take advantage of cybercounseling. Finally, counselors should advocate at all levels of government to raise awareness and increase legislative involvement to ensure that crucial network technology is available to all. The issues of access and privilege that have traditionally divided the client populations into the "haves" and the "have nots" must not be allowed to stifle the vast clinical and educational potential of network technology. All people who seek help, regardless of their demographic realities, should be able to find the on-ramp to the information superhighway. (Contains 10 references.) (MKA)
Descriptors: Access to Computers, Access to Information, Advocacy, Community Involvement, Counseling, Counselor Role, Education, Empowerment, Ethics, Guidelines, Internet, Lobbying, Socioeconomic Status, Technology
American Counseling Association, 5999 Stevenson Ave., Alexandria, VA 22304-3300 ($29.95). Also available through ERIC Clearinghouse on Counseling and Student Services, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 201 Ferguson Building, P.O. Box 26171, Greensboro, NC 27402-6171; Tel: 800-414-9769 (Toll Free); Fax: 336-334-4116; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://ericcass.uncg.edu.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Counselors; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A