Indiana University

Linton Online Mobility Survey Results Announced

April 8,2010

Linton, Indiana is the site of a pilot study designed to demonstrate the potential of the online survey as a tool to gauge seniors' public opinions around key issues. Being a non-random sample of responses, the online survey lacks the power of more scientific sampling procedures. Given that seniors are too often on the "wrong side" of the digital divide, an online survey is a challenging undertaking. If one way to increase confidence in results of an online survey, however, is to attract the largest possible sample, the Linton survey is a step in the right direction. In the period from March 1 to March 15, 2010, 239 individuals completed an eight minute online survey on mobility issues in the community - called "getting around". For a small community, this is a good result.

Developed and coordinated by the Center on Aging and Community, Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, the survey was marketed to adults through numerous vehicles, including news features, utility bill announcements, flyers, and one-on-one personal appearances by Crystal Woods, a well-known local resident hired specifically for the project. The city of Linton is progressive in many ways, one of which involves its support of a city provided wi-fi network, employed by Crystal to set up her laptop for internet access at senior gathering places such as McDonalds and at local public expositions. In addition, the survey was well timed to attract respondents who held strong opinions, pro and con, around a very controversial issue - a pending ordinance for the use and regulation of golf carts on city streets. The Daniels Fund of Denver, Colorado, helped incentivize participation through the provision of 5 $100 cash gifts provided to randomly selected respondents who chose to leave contact information.

A summary of interesting survey findings and a picture of the award winners merited front page coverage in the Daily World, capping this exciting particpation project. Transportation Study Results are In: Winners Named.   

The Center on Aging and Community continues to partner with the Center for Home Care Policy and Research, Visiting Nurse Service of New York in the development of the national AdvantAge Initiative community planning model. The AdvantAge telephone survey has been conducted in over 26 cities nationwide and Indiana was the first statewide demonstration of the project. In 2008, 5,000 older Hoosiers were surveyed and results are being utilized to inform community planning throughout the state. In order to lower the costs and disseminate the survey to an even wider audience nationally, an online version is under development. The Linton project provides an excellent model of the potential usefulness of the method and has helped the project developers secure additional funding to continue growing the model nationwide.