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Access to Wireless Technologies for People with Disabilities: Issues, Opportunities and Policy Options: Findings of a Policy Delphi

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Abstract:

The ongoing innovation and development of wireless technologies has made a wide array of devices and services increasingly available in the United States; however, significant policy, economic and technological barriers to access of those technologies still exist for many people with disabilities (Baker and Bellordre, 2003). More than 51.2 million people, about 18 percent of the population, have some kind of long-term or conditional disability, suggesting that barriers to the adoption of wireless technologies affect a significant constituency (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2006).

Facilitation of equal access to technology-related services and devices, and wireless accessibility issues, can be addressed to varying degrees by the enforcement of existing legislation and regulations, augmented by new initiatives in disability and telecommunications policy and research to support increased access to wireless technologies that address the needs of the disability community.