WIC clients now have access to Spanish-speaking chatbot

Texas Health and Human Services Commission launches Spanish-speaking chatbot

AUSTIN, Texas –The Texas Health and Human Services Commission is connecting with Spanish-speaking Texas through Maya. Maya is a chatbot that provides information in Spanish about the WIC services available to new mothers and families with young children. Among Texas households receiving WIC services, Spanish is the primary language in more than 35 percent.

You can find Maya on the Texas WIC website in Spanish. The chatbot is an easy-to-use, automated, online communication tool. It answers common questions specified to a user’s needs.

“We’re excited to introduce this tool for people with questions about nutrition, breastfeeding and how to access support for their families,” Texas WIC Director Edgar Curtis said. “We can reach many more Spanish-speaking WIC clients when it is most convenient for them. We take great pride in providing great resources to our clients, families and communities.”

Texas WIC used a special project grant from the US Department of Agriculture to create the chatbot. Prior to implementing Maya, program staff collaborated with researchers at Texas State University. They evaluated the virtual assistant and ensured the usefulness and functionality of its features. The university also assisted with the implementation of the English version of the chatbot last year. Researchers will continue to monitor the chatbot to identify possible improvements.

The chatbot translation is one of the latest efforts to improve the experience of people needing information about Texas WIC services. In January, Texas WIC started offering live chat and two-way texting services. Both provide options to easily transition that chat to voice and video calls, without requiring users to download the app.