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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release September 19, 1996

President Clinton today congratulated the 1996 winners of the Department of Commerce's Telecommunications and Information Infrastructure Assistance Program (TIIAP) grants.

"The winners of these grants are showing how the Information Superhighway can be used to help educate our children, fight crime, and expand access to worker training and health care in rural and urban America," the President said.

TIIAP provides matching grants to non-profit organizations (schools, libraries, community organizations, hospitals, state and local governments) that develop innovative applications of new information and communications technologies. Sixty seven public institutions, competitively selected from over 800 applicants, have been selected to receive $18.6 million in federal matching grants. Projects were selected on the basis of their ability to serve as models that can be replicated across the country.

This year's winners are using the Internet and other advanced telecommunications services to solve some of the most pressing economic and social challenges facing America, including:


Putting the future at the fingertips of our children: In Oregon, students in ten rural Coos and Curry County school districts will get Internet access and desktop videoconferencing. Students will use the network to take advanced placement math and science courses, and teachers will take continuing education courses toward advanced degrees.

Protecting our children from crime: The Louisiana Children's Network will allow law enforcement officials and children's social service agencies to share information on issues such as child abuse, runaways, child care facilities, gang-related activities, and child predators.

Giving every child a healthy start: The Michigan Public Health Institute will develop an electronic childhood immunization network for the greater Detroit-area. Currently, Michigan has the lowest rate of pre-school immunization. This network will allow health care providers to have access to the immunization history of the child, generate automatic reminders for parents and doctors, and dramatically improve the ability of schools to track a child's immunization status.

Increasing parental involvement in their children's education: The Baltimore County Public Schools and the Baltimore County Public Library will launch an Electronic School to Home project, giving parents and students donated personal computers and at-home Internet access, and allowing parents to send e-mail to teachers, receive information on PTA activities, and review student homework.

Helping Americans move from welfare to work: The National Urban Technology Center's Community Empowerment Network, based in Brooklyn, will help people who are currently on welfare find a job. The network will connect welfare recipients with training and employment opportunities, caseworkers, and on-line business mentors from organizations such as IBM, Kodak, AT&T, and the Alliance for Black Telecommunications Employees.

Improving the quality of health care for rural Americans: In Washington State, the Seattle-based Virginia Mason Medical Center will develop a telemedicine network to link up with four health care facilities in the rural Olympic Peninsula. Patients with chronic pain will be able to receive expert medical attention, while avoiding five hour trips to Seattle by automobile and ferry boat.

Giving police new tools in the war on crime: The Cal-Photo project will allow law enforcement agencies in four California communities to quickly share data such as mug-shots and other detailed identification information. This will allow police to identify wanted criminals during arrests or routine traffic stops. Officers responding to domestic violence situations will be aware of any restraining orders. Currently, the process of transmitting photo images and records by mail can take a week or longer.

Revitalizing urban communities: The Resident Controlled Housing Association will expand access to information that can combat urban decline, such as the economic and physical status of buildings in the region, a list of organizations that are working on similar problems, and an evaluation of plans that have worked in the past.

Improving the quality of life for Americans with disabilities: The WGBH Educational Foundation in Boston, Massachusetts will promote the development of Internet web sites that are accessible to people with vision and hearing impairments. By the end of 1996, more than 300 public broadcasting stations will have web sites. This project will help remove the barriers that people with disabilities face when trying to access computer-based lifelong learning services and information on community affairs.

Expanding access to life-long learning for working Americans: The Center for Rural Development will expand access to interactive video courses at four regional community colleges in Eastern and Southern Kentucky. Currently, many students and workers in the region have only limited access to training and university courses, and must drive up to four hours to the main campus of the University of Kentucky.