Universal Access in the Information Society

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 227–237 | Cite as

Policy development and access to wireless technologies for people with disabilities: results of policy Delphi research

Long Paper

Abstract

This paper discusses the relationship between policy research and policy change, and it provides examples of the policy research outcomes informed by the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Mobile Wireless Technologies for People with Disabilities’ (Wireless RERC) policy research process. In 2005 and 2006, the center conducted empirical research, using the policy Delphi polling methodology, to probe key stakeholders’ opinions on the most significant issues surrounding the adoption and use of wireless communication and information technologies by people with disabilities. Drawing on the results of three rounds of polling, the Wireless RERC developed a set of policy options, and “fine-tuned” them using participating stakeholders from the disability community, wireless industry, and policymakers.

Keywords

Policy Delphi Wireless technologies Technology access Assistive technology People with disabilities Public policy 

Abbreviations

AAPD

American Association of People with Disabilities

ADA

Americans with Disabilities Act

AFB

American Foundation for the Blind

AT

Assistive technology

ATIA

Assistive Technology Industry Association

CAN

Consumer Advisory Network

CODI

Cornucopia of Disability Information

CTIA

Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association

DRO

Disability Rights Office

EAS

Emergency Alert System

EDP

Equipment distribution program

FCC

Federal Communications Commission

HLAA

Hearing Loss Association of America

ISO

International Organization for Standardization

NAD

National Association of the Deaf

NIDRR

National Institute on Disability Rehabilitation and Research

RERC

Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center

RESNA

Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America

SMS

Short message service

TDD

Telecommunications device for the deaf

TDI

Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc.

TEDPA

Telecommunications Equipment Distribution Program Association

TTY

Teletypewriter

UD

Universal design

VoIP

Voice over Internet Protocol

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors wish to thank the participants of the Policy Delphi and to acknowledge the research assistance of Alan Bakowski, Andrew Ward, Avonne Bell, Lynzee Head, Christine Bellordre, Jason Anavitarte, Andy McNeil, Adam Starr, and Lisa Griffin. The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Technologies has been supported by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) of the US Department of Education (DOE) under grant number H133E060061, and H133E010804. The opinions contained in this paper are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the DOE or NIDRR.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Advanced Communications PolicyGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA

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