TechnologyAAPD will advocate for policies that promote the development of universally designed technology, and that ensure affordable access to that technology, to support people with disabilities to live independently.
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 (CVAA). 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 (Pew Research Center).
41% of adults living with a disability have broadband at home, compared with 69% of those without a disability (Pew Research Center).
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
We Will Ride
Fully autonomous vehicles have the potential to reshape the transportation landscape for people with disabilities, especially those who cannot get a driver’s license. But this can only happen if automakers start making vehicles that are accessible to all of us -– so we can all ride.
The We Will Ride Campaign was founded by leaders in the disability rights movement to ensure that the coming transportation revolution of autonomous vehicles reaches its potential to serve all Americans.
We work to develop a constructive conversation around the needs of Americans with disabilities and how automobile manufacturers and other key institutions can meet them.
Current coalition members include:
- American Association of People with Disabilities
- National Council on Independent Living
- Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund
- United Spinal Association
- Paralyzed Veterans of America
AAPD Technology Forum
Learn more about the Technology Forum
Assistive technology (AT) provides assistive and adaptive devices that help people with disabilities engage in life’s activities. Examples of assistive technology include communication boards, computer screen reading software, wheelchairs, pencil grips, and spell checking software. It promotes greater independence by allowing people with disabilities to accomplish tasks in employment, education, technology use, and everyday life that would otherwise have been difficult or impossible.
- Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs
- National Council on Independent Living Technology Task Force
- ITEM Coalition
Assistive technology opens up employment opportunities for people with disabilities. For more information, see AAPD’s employment page.
AAPD is a member of the Disability Advisory Committee (DAC), which aims to provide advice and recommendations to the Commission on a wide array of disability issues within the FCC’s jurisdiction. The DAC provides a means for stakeholders with interests in accessibility issues to exchange ideas, facilitate the participation of consumers with disabilities in proceedings before the Commission, and assist the Commission in educating the greater disability community and covered entities on disability-related matters.
The National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) represents organizations that advocate for the human and civil rights of people with disabilities throughout the U.S. The NCIL Task Force on Technology advocates for assistive technology (AT) that enables and enhances independence for people with disabilities. The mission of this NCIL subcommittee is to see that people with disabilities have access to the crucial technology they need to live independently.
The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities Task Force on Telecommunications and Technology deals with issues related to access to telecommunications and assistive technology in education, employment and independent living.
This industry-led coalition works to make broadband access to the Internet available to every household in the nation and to enhance the broadband experience for all users, including people with disabilities.
The Access Board is an independent federal agency that promotes equality for people with disabilities through leadership in accessible design and the development of accessibility guidelines and standards.
The Independence through Enhancement of Medicaid and Medicare (ITEM) Coalition is devoted to raising awareness and building support for policies that will enhance access to assistive devices, technologies and related services for people with disabilities and chronic conditions. The Coalition is consumer-led and has over seventy member organizations—including a diverse set of disability organizations, aging organizations, other consumer groups, labor organizations, voluntary health associations, and non-profit provider associations.
To file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding Access to Communications Services and Equipment, click here.