Wireless RERC Technical Paper: Access to Wireless Technologies for People With Disabilities: Issues, Opportunities and Policy Options. Findings of a Policy DelphiBy Baker, Paul M.A.; Moon, Nathan W.; Bakowski, Alan; Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Technologies (Wireless RERC)
(Pages: 24 pp.) Publication Date:
Study of the increased use of wireless technologies among people with disabilities. The study, conducted by the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Mobile Wireless Technologies for People With Disabilities (Wireless RERC), employed a policy Delphi to probe disabled users’ opinions on issues surrounding the use of wireless technologies. The Delphi method is a forecasting tool which uses a panel of experts to present all the options for a given issue in order to build a composite model of the situation under study. The 3-part study was conducted between November 2004 and May 2006 with 70 participants, including members of the disability community, wireless industry, and policy makers. The Delphi was arranged in 4 categories: (1) forecasts, (2) issues, (3) goals, and (4) options. Device incompatibility or poor interoperability was cited by 70 percent of participants. A system for product evaluation was deemed desirable for 80 percent of the panel. The main economic goal expressed was related to increased employment opportunities for people with disabilities. A majority found an awareness gap between the producer and consumer, of which options for bridging this gap favored were increased investment in public-information campaigns, educating manufacturers of wireless devices about the economic viability of universally designed products, educating retailers about the accessibility features of their products, and developing Consumer Reports-style guides to wireless devices for disabled use.
Published by: Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Technologies (Wireless RERC) (Website:http://www.wirelessrerc.org)
Link to text: http://www.wirelessrerc.org/publications/policy-briefs/access-to-wireless-technologies-for-people-with-disabilities-issues-opportunities-and-policy-options.html/