HAPF Group Members: Jing Wang, Tia Gilmartin, Karen Rose, Keith Chan, Amber Hsu
• Nicole Ruggiano (Associate Professor and Director of the Doctor of Social Work Program, University of Alabama School of Social Work; 2018-2019 HAP Fellow)
• Samantha Meklir, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC)
• Vijeth Iyengar (Brain Health Lead and Technical Advisor to the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Aging, Administration for Community Living (ACL)/U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
• Rashann Duvall (Assistant Division Chief, Federal Communications Commission, Wireline Competition Bureau, Telecommunications Access Policy Division)
Session Summary: The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the barriers related to technology use among older adults. With lack of broadband access in hard to reach areas, combined with lower usage of web-connected devices among older Americans than younger adults, older adults have experienced challenges navigating telehealth services and securing vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic. This session will cover a range of topics including adoption of technology among aging adults, use of assistive technology and telehealth in care delivery, and broadband access. Panelists will explore the impact of the technological disparities that exist for low-income older adults, marginalized communities, and urban-rural regions. The panel will discuss initiatives intended to address the technological divide.