Federal / Regulatory

Imagining futures: A collaborative policy/device design for wearable computing

The rapidly expanding market for wearable computing devices (wearables), driven by advances in information and communication technologies (ICT), wireless access, and public acceptance of a design aesthetic, is indicative of the near limitless potential for changing the relationship of users to information context(s). As the adoption of wearable devices spreads, there are cultural and social impacts that represent both barriers and opportunities, with subsequent policy ramifications. All too...

Does culture affect usability? A trans-European usability and user experience assessment of a falls-risk connected health system following a user-centered design methodology carried out in a single

User-centred design (UCD) is a process whereby the end-user is placed at the centre of the design process. The WIISEL (Wireless Insole for Independent and Safe Elderly Living) system is designed to monitor fall risk and to detect falls and consists of a pair of instrumented insoles and a smartphone app. The system was designed using a three-phase UCD process carried out in Ireland, which incorporated the input of Irish end-users and multidisciplinary experts

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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...

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

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American Sign Language & Emergency Alerts: The Relationship between Language, Disability, and Accessible Emergency Messaging

Bennet, D, LaForce, S, Touzet, C, Choido, K (2018). American Sign Language & Emergency Alerts: The Relationship between Language, Disability, and Accessible Emergency Messaging. International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters, 2018, 71-87.

Abstract: Emergency alert messages are not always completely accessible for people who are Deaf that rely on American Sign Language (ASL). ASL is a visual and conceptual...

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.

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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 - September 2019

In September, National Preparedness Month was celebrated, and many took the opportunity to inform citizens of the importance of being prepared in the event of a local or national emergency. For example, ReadyDC’s campaign objective was to provide information that was both accessible and readily available. Their website contains information and resources on how to create emergency kits, communications plans, and how to remain informed about various types of emergencies. Also, the site...

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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.