The Challenge:

Technology limitations include broadband in rural areas, technology among the poor, and digital literacy among older adults. These limitations in turn restrict access to health care, opportunity, and remote engagement.

The Principle:

We must prioritize the provision of broadband access and appropriate technologies that enable telehealth and remote learning, work, and engagement, as a means to facilitate greater independence and participation by residents of all ages and abilities in all aspects of society. 

Watch Related Video

Virtual Dialogue 4: Prioritize Connectivity
December 17, 2020

Featured Speakers:

  • Dr. Joseph Coughlin, Founder and Director, Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab; Member, AARP Board of Directors
  • Justin Garrett Moore,  Program Officer, Mellon Foundation
  • Dr. Victor Santiago Pineda, President of World Enabled; Lecturer, College of Environmental Design, University of California Berkeley
  • Dr. Bill Thomas, Lifesprk Independence Officer; Cofounder, ChangingAging (Moderator)
  • Stephanie Firestone, Senior Strategic Policy Advisor, Health & Age-friendly Communities, AARP (Host) 
  • Esther Greenhouse, Built Environment Strategist and Environmental Gerontologist; and Strategic Director, TC Age Friendly Center for Excellence (Introductory Remarks) 


Humanities in Place

A program of the Mellon Foundation which seeks to broaden and deepen the range of how and where the stories of our histories and communities are told across public experiences as varied as built environments, digital platforms, and ephemeral programs.

MIT AgeLab: Artificial Intelligence and Longevity Research

A research project led by Bank of America and the MIT AgeLab to advance the understanding of AI’s current impacts and to envision future applications and implications for longevity.

World Enabled

A global education, communications, and strategic consulting group founded and led by Dr. Victor Pineda. “We support companies and governments with the full implementation of legal mandates for inclusion and diversity. Our work and research initiatives further innovative approaches to inclusive urban development. With our international partners, we help build inclusive societies where people with disabilities and older persons can fully develop their talents and reach their full potential.”

The Fourth Wave of Technology and Aging: Policy Innovation to Ensure Equity and Inclusion

A short and informative look at the intersection of aging and technology by Joseph F. Couglin, PhD., Public Policy & Aging Report, Volume 30, Issue 4, 2020, Pages 138–141.  

Telecommunications Access for People with Disabilities

FCC rules under Section 255 of the Communications Act require telecommunications equipment manufacturers and service providers to make their products and services accessible to people with disabilities, if such access is readily achievable. Where access is not readily achievable, manufacturers and service providers must make their devices and services compatible with peripheral devices and specialized customer premises equipment that are commonly used by people with disabilities, if such compatibility is readily achievable.


An example of a digitally connected society. “We have built a digital society and we can show you how.”  Named the most advanced digital society in the worldby Wired, Estonia has built an efficient, secure and transparent ecosystem where 99% of governmental services are online. It is no surprise then that Estonians have designed numerous digital solutions to help tackle the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

Share a Resource

Please inform us of resources or projects related to this principle.

First Name
Last Name

What are the related keyword(s) for this resource?

(select all that apply)
Other keyword (not included here)
Please include a short description of this resource.
Upload the file
Resource or Project URL

For more information about AARP's Equity by Design work, contact: 
Stephanie K. Firestone
, Senior Strategic Policy Advisor for Health and Age-Friendly Communites, AARP International.