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New Report: Centering Disability in Technology Policy

December 13, 2021
Source: American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)

Today, The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) released Centering Disability in Technology Policy, a report highlighting the ways in which technology can discriminate against disabled people – and what advocacy groups, regulators, and funders can do to change this. A plain language version of the report was also released.

“In order for technology to create potential for equitable opportunity and improved quality of life for disabled people, technology policy must seek to understand, and meaningfully center, the disability experience,” said Maria Town, President and CEO of AAPD. “Disability organizations and public interest technology groups working together to build shared expertise is vital to achieving this goal.”

Alexandra Reeve Givens, President and CEO of CDT, said, “We are at an important inflection point understanding the impact technology has on society – from limiting people’s privacy, to how they access information, to how inferences made about them may impact their ability to get credit, housing, or a job. The active public debate about technology must do a better job addressing the perspectives of people with disabilities. Our report highlights the opportunities for engagement, and the important work to be done.”

The report makes a number of recommendations for tech organizations, public interest groups, or anyone with an interest in using technology to meaningfully improve peoples’ lives. It covers a wide range of topics, including digital accessibility practices, equitable employment and education access, data privacy, online hate and harassment, law enforcement surveillance, algorithmic bias, and more. Read the full report [PDF] here, or the plain language version [PDF] of the report here.

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