ADvancing States is pleased to announce the release of a new issue brief on Technology Access During COVID-19: State Aging and Disabilities Initiatives. This issue brief is the second publication from the ADvancing States Aging and Disabilities Technology Workgroup, which was established in 2019 in order to drive improvements in aging and disabilities state agencies’ information technology (IT), facilitate sharing and learning among states, and assist states as they seek to implement and integrate technology that supports holistic person-centered services.
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the health and wellness of older adults and persons with disabilities living in home and community-based and residential settings. COVID-related restrictions that focused on protecting health and safety brought about the rapid closure of many programs serving older adults and persons with disabilities. In response to the challenges and safety concerns of providing in-person services, agencies transitioned to virtual service delivery, offering an array of programming using technology. While modes of virtual service delivery are bringing about innovations that may outlast the pandemic, the transition to virtual services has also exacerbated issues with the long-standing digital divide. State aging and disabilities agencies recognize the importance of technology connectivity to facilitate access to programs, services, and family and friends. This issue brief explores initiatives that state aging and disabilities agencies are engaging in during the COVID-19 pandemic to facilitate access to technology devices and the internet. This brief includes a review of initiatives, funding sources, and partnerships and highlights state promising practices. Data and findings are drawn from the ADvancing States 2020 COVID-19 Membership Survey.
Click here to read the brief.