The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB) today released a White Paper addressing access to information and communications technologies (ICT) by people with cognitive disabilities. The paper presents an in-depth look at the benefits of these technologies for people with cognitive disabilities, as well as current barriers to such technologies. Specifically, the paper identifies three primary barriers: the lack of accessibility; economic barriers; and the lack of outreach to people with cognitive disabilities and their support networks about both their rights to accessible technologies and the current availability of accessible ICT technologies. The paper also provides an in-depth look at accessible features on certain communications devices that can help people with cognitive disabilities live more independently, and concludes with steps that can be taken to ensure that future communications technologies are fully accessible to this population.
The White Paper is accompanied by “Best Practices to Promote Effective Access to and Usability of ICT Products and Services for Americans with Cognitive Disabilities,” a set of recommendations that were approved by the Commission’s Disability Advisory Committee on September 22, 2016. These practices are intended to promote effective access to and the usability of ICT products and services for people with cognitive disabilities. They are the culmination of extensive efforts by consumer and industry stakeholders, including manufacturers, service providers, and application developers.
For more information, contact: Elaine Gardner, Disability Rights Office, CGB, at 202-418-0581 or Elaine.Gardner@fcc.gov. For those using videophones and fluent in American Sign Language, you may call the ASL Consumer Support Line at 844-432-2275. To view the FCC Summit on the Telecommunication Needs of People with Cognitive Disability, visit https://www.fcc.gov/news-events/events/2015/10/summit-on-telecommunication-needs-of-people-with-cognitive-disabilities.
Links to the White Paper:
- Word: https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-341628A1.docx
- PDF: https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-341628A1.pdf
- Text: https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-341628A1.txt
Links to the Best Practices:
- Word: https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-341407A1.docx
- PDF: https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-341407A1.pdf
- Text: https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-341407A1.txt