CHIP: Digital Access + Literacy

Connect to care through digital access and skills

Digital Access and Literacy GoalsThe District’s broad geographical area expands well beyond the urban ring of the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County. Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, and Nelson counties, plus Southern Albemarle all incorporate rural residential areas. Broadband infrastructure has been slow to reach the more remote sections of the localities, and MAPP2Health participants from Nelson County in particular recognized how this has exacerbated the digital divide.

Beyond broadband, the ability to “find, evaluate, create, and communicate information” online – known as digital literacy – is critical to navigate the domains of daily life, including food access, employment, education, and healthcare. Lack of digital skills and competencies is not confined to rural residents alone; it can be particularly challenging for older adults and non-native speakers.

Although the CHIP objectives for Digital Access + Literacy are not yet finalized, the goals and recommendations inherited from MAPP2Health address both the access and literacy components of connectivity as well as the hardware and software needed to navigate daily life and specifically healthcare encounters.

Initial Workgroup Partners: Albemarle County  Broadband Accessibility and Affordability Office, Jefferson-Madison Regional Libraries (JMRL), Jefferson Area Board for Aging Advisory Council (JABA), Louisa County Commission on Aging,  Thomas Jefferson Adult Career Education (TJACE@PVCC).

Overview of Objectives: The Digital Access + Literacy group is still forming and determining which goals and objectives can be accomplished in the three-year cycle.


Proposed CHIP Goals + Objectives

Proposed Goal Proposed Objective Proposed Convenor Proposed Contributor
Expand broadband service access
  • Promote the Regional Internet Service Expansion (RISE)
  • Ensure households in need of internet get connected
  • Albemarle County Broadband Accessibility and Affordability Office
  • BRHD
Expand digital literacy improvement services, especially for older adults, users in multiple languages
  • Assess and evaluate current digital literacy and training programs for older adults and non-native speakers
  • Ensure clinical services provide alternatives to direct internet access (e.g.: phone support with interpretation, printed translations)
  • Expand digital literacy and bridging services throughout the District
Integrate Digital Navigators into the healthcare landscape
  • Assess how many Digital Navigators are needed Districtwide and specify the role
  • Identify or develop the best training curricula for digital navigators
  • Provide training for digital navigator skills
Increase access to affordable hardware and software
  • Provide hardware and software to connect to healthcare services
  • Develop and sustain digital access equity centers that provide centralized locations with reliable hardware, broadband, software, and technology support
  • JMRL
  • Publicize and promote digital access equity centers


The Regional Digital Equity Plan Coalition (RDEP) has formed to collaborate and support initiatives like the Affordable Connectivity Program. Facilitated by the Broadband Affordability & Accessibility Office, RDEP Members including representatives from housing, public health, workforce, and community centers.

Image from Firefly RISE program

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