Campaign: Accessibility for People with Disabilities

Broadband plan must address needs of people with disabilities

The FCC's development of a national broadband plan represents a unique opportunity to assure that the nation's investment in a broadband infrastructure is accessible to all Americans. The Plan is intended to guide the nation's effort to create new jobs and stimulate economic growth and opportunity by accelerating the use and impact of broadband technology. This investment is predicated on the transformative power of broadband as a robust anywhere, anytime communications and service network for commerce, culture and community.

 

The Commission has expressly stated that this significant leap forward in broadband capacity and services must address the needs of our must vulnerable, under-served and unserved fellow citizens. That definition must include people with disabilities. Technology can offer people with disabilities new opportunities for education and employment and the potential for greater autonomy and independence. However, unless properly designed and implemented, the same technology can present pervasive and potentially insuperable barriers to people with disabilities. Therefore this Plan must address the interfaces of applications and content that end users will be expected to use, operate and employ successfully. An approach that only focuses on and measures price, availability, and bitrate will not guarantee successful adoption and use by any segment of the population, especially citizens with disabilities.

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Idea No. 16