As of July 4th, over 34,000 Massachusetts households have enrolled in the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program to help families and households struggling to afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative encourages communities working to become age-and dementia friendly to raise awareness about this program to help connect older adults to internet access.
The EBB provides eligible households with a temporary, monthly discount of up to $50 towards their broadband service. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price. Continue reading
The Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative (MHAC) continues to promote the concept that technology is a social determinant of health and that older adults need to be included in policy discussions aimed at addressing the digital divide.
Both of those points were central to a letter distributed to the state’s Health Equity Task Force that held a recent public hearing on digital equity. The letter was sent to other state groups and commissions, including the co-chairs of the legislature’s Joint Committee on Elder Affairs. Continue reading
Informed by data and stakeholder interviews, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office released a report, “Building Toward Racial Justice and Equity in Health: A Call to Action,” meant to lay out ways stakeholders should come together to address the systemic health inequities facing people of color. Continue reading
As part of several workgroups and initiatives to address the digital divide among older adults – an issue that has been heightened during the pandemic – the Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative recently co-hosted a webinar with the Executive Office of Elder Affairs on “Understanding Technology as a Social Determinant of Health.”
The webinar featured research from a team of professors and students at Babson College that focused on equitable technology access and utilization for older adults. Continue reading