Technology and Disability Policy Highlights – April 2020

In April, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to make 1,200 megahertz of spectrum in the 6 GHz band available for unlicensed use to help the deployment of WiFi 6. According to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, the agency suggests the use of the 6 GHz band for low-power devices like "accessibility technology for Americans with disabilities, virtual reality gaming, augmented reality glasses, in-vehicle systems, and other emerging technologies." However, while some actively await...

Use of consumer wireless devices by South Africans with severe communication disability

Advancements in wireless technology (e.g. cell phones and tablets) have opened new communication opportunities and environments for individuals with severe communication disabilities. The advancement of these technologies poses challenges to ensuring that these individuals enjoy equal access to this increasingly essential technology. However, a paucity of research exists.

Smartphone Use and Activities by People with Disabilities: 2015-2016 Survey

Access and use of mainstream wireless technology is essential to social and economic participation, which can be especially challenging to people with disabilities. Technology ownership rates are indicative of general access to these critical technologies. However, analysis of the activities of technology users can provide more detailed assessment of the nature and degree of technology access. This article presents findings from the


Technology and Disability Policy Highlights – March 2020

With the pressing concerns of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), this issue covers many of the ways in which COVID-19 impacts the disability community. A departure from only reporting on wireless technology access activities, we include a range of COVID-19 resources and initiatives for people with disabilities. For example, the select provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act are outlined, focusing on funds directed towards ensuring services for...

Technology and Disability Policy Highlights - February 2020

In February, the Accessibility Recordkeeping Compliance Certification And Contact Information Reporting Requirements Public Notice [Docket DA 20-151] was published in the Federal Register, reminding service providers and equipment manufacturers of their accessibility recordkeeping requirements as per Sections 255, 716, or 718 of the Communications Act of 1934 (as amended).  These sections specify accessibility requirements for telecommunications services and...

Technology and Disability Policy Highlights – January 2020

In January, The Wireless E911 Location Accuracy Requirements [PS Docket No. 07-114] final ruling was published in the Federal Register, which focused on the adoption of a z-axis location accuracy metric. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) also noted that it now requires nationwide commercial mobile radio service (CMRS) providers to deploy dispatchable location technology to meet the latest rulemaking. This final ruling is effective on March 16, 2020.


Technology and Disability Policy Highlights - Fall 2019

This fall, the country celebrated National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) with hosted talks about best practices for employers on how to increase disability inclusion. Numerous organizations hosted events, awareness campaigns, and initiatives in support of NDEAM. Dell convened an "Accessibility Driving Innovation" panel, and Microsoft published videos and blog posts about their vision that accessibility and...

Technology and Disability Policy Highlights - August 2019

In August, Colorado passed Modifications to the Uniform Election Code (HB19-1278) and Voting Access for People with Disabilities (SB19-202) Acts to expand access to voting for all eligible Coloradans. SB19-202 gives Coloradans with disabilities the ability to vote independently and privately using nonvisual or low vision access technologies. At the end of the Congressional summer session, House Representative Janice Schakowsky (D-IL



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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.