Digital Access: An Opportunity to Improve Equity in Central Texas

Digital Feature by Children's Optimal Health
February 2022

Children's Optimal Health   (Austin*)

Children's Optimal Health released this storymap to lay the groundwork for improving digital equity across the 5 county Austin Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). Children's Optimal Health has gathered and analyzed data from multiple sources and worked in collaboration with many entities, most notably United Way for Greater Austin (UWATX), several school districts across the 5 county MSA, Communities in Schools of Central Texas (CIS), Austin Voices for Education and Youth (AVEY), Austin Community College’s Community Education Department, health providers including People’s Community Clinic and Lonestar Circle of Care, the City of Austin’s Telecommunications and Regulatory Affairs (TARA) office, and Austin Public Health (APH).

The population of interest for this study included students and their families, lower income families many of whom were persons of color, those for whom English is not their primary language, persons living in the more rural areas of Austin’s five county metro area, older adults and those with disabilities. These persons constitute populations more likely to experience not only reduced access to digital technology but also challenges in meeting key needs related to those social determinants that impact their health.