Consumer

Technology and Disability Policy Highlights – January 2021

The Wireless RERC conducted our annual content review of the Technology and Disability Policy Highlights newsletter. The top five most cited words were accessibility, assistive, COVID, broadband, and public. This past year’s hot topics mostly centered around expanding access to broadband amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This year we also celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Not long after, 2020 saw movement to codify inclusive access to...

Helpful Alert Originator-Focused & Consumer-Focused Resources for Emergency Communications

Helpful Alert Originator-Focused Websites

12 Considerations for Accessible Emergency Communications: http://bit.ly/12considerationsfor

IPAWS Alerting Authority Online Training: http://bit.ly/IPAWStraining

Common Misconceptions Regarding People who are Deaf and Rely on ASL: http://bit.ly/CommonMis

Effective Communications...

Technology and Disability Policy Highlights – Winter Issue

The third of December was International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD), and the United Nations themed the 2020 celebration "Building Back Better: Toward a Disability-Inclusive, Accessible, and Sustainable Post-COVID-19 World." The key messages for IDPD 2020 were health equity-focused and included among others: (1) “The COVID-19 pandemic provides a unique opportunity to build back better our health systems so that they are more inclusive and responsive to the needs...

Technology and Disability Policy Highlights – October 2020

In October, the federal government acknowledged the 75th observance of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) in the U.S. Department of Labor commemorated the occasion with various events and activities based on this year’s theme: “Increasing Access and Opportunity.” ODEP also provided employers and companies with 31 Days...

Technology and Disability Policy Highlights – September 2020

In September, National Preparedness Month was celebrated. Many counties, cities, and nonprofits across the country took the opportunity to virtually educate citizens on the importance of being prepared in the event of a local or national emergency. And the celebrations continued with the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA).  They hosted a...

The Federal Communication Commissions' Response to COVID-19: Implications for People with Disabilities

The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) policies and regulations in response to COVID-19 had the opportunity to profoundly shape digital experiences and social outcomes for Americans with disabilities. However, the FCC's response must be met with an equal effort by other stakeholders to fully realize the intended outcomes. This policy brief identifies and describes the FCC's response to the global health pandemic and the implications of the same for people with disabilities...

Biennial analysis of mobile phone accessibility: Comparative analyses reveals pain points and progress

The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Inclusive Technologies (Wireless RERC) published its third Biennial Review of Mobile Phone Accessibility, quantifying accessibility levels of mobile phones available in the U.S. market as of February 2020. The study analyzed 141 phones from the Tier 1 wireless carriers (e.g., Verizon and Sprint), one prepaid carrier, and five Lifeline carriers. The Review assessed the presence of 35 features associated with device...

Technology and Disability Policy Highlights – August 2020

As August concluded, attention was paid to voters with disabilities’ access to upcoming elections. Hawaii passed Act 136, expanding access to electronic ballots, which had previously only been available to military personnel. Similarly, a Virginia federal court released a consent decree regarding expanded accessibility options. The Decree requires that all counties and cities in Virginia have electronic absentee ballots that are compatible with screen-reader technology and...

Technology and Disability Policy Highlights - Summer 2020

This summer, the country celebrated the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in July. The ADA was signed on July 26, 1990, so this year the legislation hit the big 3-0, which in humans typically signifies a turning point into true adulthood where grand change occurs as a result of assessing the journey to 30. Perhaps, we'll observe similarly expansive impacts as the ADA turns the corner to 30. Though large gatherings are still discouraged, advocates and...

Technology and Disability Policy Highlights – May 2020

In May, the world celebrated the Eighth Annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) with virtual events. Microsoft hosted its annual Ability Summit, open to the public, and discussed a variety of disability access and inclusion topics. IBM also celebrated with the launch of an open-source Equal Access Toolkit. This toolkit was created to provide web designers with resources to create accessible websites and applications. Other tech companies, like Apple and Google, released new...

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Disclaimer

The contents of this website were developed under a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant number 90RE5025-01-00). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this website do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.