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Geography Lesson

Geographic Information System (GIS) Mapping

This study used geospatial analysis to explore factors that impact health and disability of infants and toddlers. The sample included infants and toddlers with disabilities served through the Kentucky First Steps program over five years beginning SFY 2012.  Exploratory factors included child care quality and environmental factors using digital geological and topographic maps available through the Kentucky Geological Survey at the University of Kentucky.

Study Information

This study employed innovative geomapping techniques to uncover patterns and correlations between the environment and the health of infants and toddlers with disabilities in Kentucky. Through the First Steps program data, we analyzed data on 49,000 children over a five-year period up to 2018. This research investigated how factors such as home location, disability status (including developmental delays, autism, cerebral palsy, respiratory issues), access to quality child care, and various environmental risks contribute to the well-being of these children.

By integrating First Steps Administrative Data, Child Care Licensing, Quality Rating Data, Kentucky Geological Survey Maps, and Census Data, we conducted a comprehensive spatial analysis at the child and county levels. Our methods included Point Pattern Mapping, Kernel Density Estimates, Proportional Dot Density, Spatial Autocorrelation, and Hotspot Analysis to identify trends and areas of concern.

This study aimed to inform policymakers and service providers, facilitating targeted interventions to improve the lives of Kentucky's most vulnerable children.


February 2020

Mapping Environmental Impacts on Infants/Toddlers with Disabilities

Rous, B., Grove, J., Chapman, K. & Budhwani, S. (February 2020). Mapping environmental impacts on infants/toddlers with disabilities.  Presentation at the Conference on Research Innovations in Early Intervention, San Diego, CA.

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