AAPD has a long and storied history of promoting the deployment of modern technology and infrastructure to support the needs of people with disabilities. As one of the founding members of the Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology (COAT), AAPD worked to ensure that legislative and regulatory safeguards were put in place in order for people with disabilities to gain greater access to evolving high-speed broadband, wireless, and other Internet-based technologies. To that end, we were instrumental in working to update the Communications Act with the protections and provisions included in the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act. We continue to monitor, propose, and support legislation that enables people with disabilities with improved access to emerging technology.
54% of adults living with a disability use the internet, compared with 81% of adults without disabilities.
41% of adults living with a disability have broadband at home, compared with 69% of those without a disability.
We promote positive change for people with disabilities in the following technology areas:
- Assistive and adaptive technology
- Closed captioning
- Video description
- Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) for persons with hearing and speech disabilities
- Usable wireless connection to medical and other service devices
- Internet website accessibility
- Affordability of telecommunications products and services
- Affordability and availability of advanced medical devices
- Accessibility of health information technologies and systems
- Accessible and usable interfaces on consumer electronics products
- Promoting greater broadband usage by persons with disabilities
There are several federal laws that address technology accessibility for people with disabilities, including the American with Disabilities Act, the Communications Act and the Rehabilitation Act. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities also includes several provisions on access to technology.
AAPD supports accessible, usable and affordable Internet technologies and telecommunication devices, and rigorous enforcement of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act and the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act.
AAPD Technology Forum
Our monthly AAPD Technology Forum serves as a strategic meeting of national disability advocacy organizations and representatives from the technology industry with a mission to holistically drive and accelerate innovations to advance the interests of underrepresented groups. The accessibility of various technologies, devices, and applications continues to be an essential part of the forum’s deliberations.
AAPD is a member of several coalitions that promote access to evolving technologies for people with disabilities.
AAPD monitors implementation of new laws and regulations to ensure that telephone, television, Internet and broadband and other types of technology are accessible to people with disabilities.
AAPD also works with assistive technology to promote access for people with disabilities.
To file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding Access to Communications Services and Equipment, click here.