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reSearch: A collection of research reviews on rehabilitation topics from NARIC and other information resources.

Volume 4, Issue 4, November 2009: Electronic and Information Technology Access

In this edition of reSearch we explore the topic of the electronic and information technology access. Interest in this topic began with Information Specialists exploring Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Section 508 was added to the Rehabilitation Act in 1986 and “requires that electronic and information technology developed, procured, maintained, or used by the Federal government be accessible to people with disabilities” (2007, p. 1). In 1998, President Bill Clinton signed the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 expanding and strengthening the technology access requirements put forth in Section 508 (2007, p. 1). Section 508 only applies to Federal departments and agencies and does not include the regulation and enforcement of electronic and information technologies within the private sector. However, the ADA and state laws may be applied to state and private entities.

What is electronic and information technology? The definition from Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996 states “information technology to include any equipment or interconnected system or subsystem of equipment, that is used in the automatic acquisition; storage; manipulation; management; movement; control; display; switching; interchange; transmission; or reception of data or information” (2007, p. 3). Examples include: computer hardware, software, networks, peripherals, and many of the electronic and communication devices used in offices and in the community; and also includes “stand-alone” systems such as information kiosks (2007, p. 3).

This edition of reSearch provides a “snapshot” of research on these types of, and access to, electronic and information technologies over a 10 year period. The Internet and World Wide Web are often covered when researching electronic information technologies. However, little focus is paid to other electronic information technologies such as “stand-alone” systems. Therefore, research on the Internet and World Wide Web electronic information technologies is excluded. Combined search terms included: Accessible Software/Television, Assistive Technology, Audio Accessibility, Compliance, Electronic and Information Technology Access, Electronic Information Access, Equipment, Information Kiosks/Machines, Information Technology, Section 508, Telecommunciation, and Video Accessibility. A listing of approximately 57 additional descriptor terms between the NARIC, ERIC, and PubMed databases can be found at the end of this document.

A search of the REHABDATA database resulted in 71 documents published between 1998 and 2009. The ERIC database resulted in 11 documents between 1998 and 2008. Finally, PubMed database search resulted in 2 documents from 2004 and 2009. The number of PubMed citations would have been higher if not for the duplicate search results of the other databases. The complete citations are included in this research brief.

Citation: (2007). Assistive Technology Partners. Section 508 information technology access. Retrieved from http://www.ucdenver.edu/academics/colleges/medicalschool/programs/atp/Documents/Section%20508%20Information%20Technology%20Access.pdf .

NIDRR Funded Projects Related to Electronic and Information Technology Access

In addition to document searches, we searched our NIDRR Program Database to locate grantees/projects related to electronic and information technology access. The search resulted in 21 NIDRR funded projects — 9 currently open and 12 which have completed their research activities. Project information and their publications are offered as additional resources for our patrons.

ADL Access: A Cognitively Accessible Software Application for Augmented Self-Management of Activities of Daily Living
Project Number: H133S090138
Phone: 541/342-3763
Email:
tkeating@eugeneresearch.org

Caption Accuracy Metrics Development Project
Project Number: H133G080093
Phone: 617/300-3431
http://ncam.wgbh.org

The Captioned Braille Radio Initiative: Providing Emergency Information for Individuals who are Deaf-Blind
Project Number: H133G090139
Phone: 202/513-2484
http://www.nprlabs.org

Captioning Solutions for Handheld Media and Mobile Devices Development
Project Number: H133G070122
Phone: 617/300-3700
http://www.wgbh.org/ncam

Development of a Global Access Information Navigation (GAIN) for Persons Who Are Blind or Have Low Vision
Project Number: H133S090026
Phone: 530/757-6800
Email: mikemay@senderogroup.com

Information Technology for Independence: Community-Based Research
Project Number: H133A021916
Phone: 412/383-6649
http://www.pitt.edu/~curbcut

Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Universal Interface and Information Technology Access
Project Number: H133E080022
Phone: 608/265-4621
http://trace.wisc.edu/itrerc

Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Technologies
Project Number: H133E060061
Phone: 404/367-1288
http://wirelessrerc@shepherd.org


The following projects have completed their research activities:

Accessible Location Information Delivered via GPS Cell Phone for People with Visual Impairments
Project Number: H133G060035
Phone: 530/757-6800
http://www.wayfinding.org

Automated DAISY Book Production System
Project Number: H133S050018
Phone: 510/582-3437
http://www.automaticsync.com/caption

Development of Virtual Pencil+ Algebra as a Teaching and Equation Processing Tool For Blind or Visually Disabled Students
Project Number: H133S030198
Phone: 727/347-1313
http://www.hentermath.com

Diabetes Communications for the Disabled
Project Number: H133S060097
Phone: 585/453-9437
http://www.med-graph.com

Development and Evaluation of a Location-Based Multimedia System for Providing Access to Information in Community Settings
Project Number: H133S080044
Phone: 719/592-0347
http://www.ablelinktech.com

Information Technology Access for Adults with Cognitive Disabilities: Participatory Development of a Model for Software Accessibility, Training, and Support
Project Number: H133G010162
Phone: 541/342-3763
http://www.eugeneresearch.org

National Center on Accessible Information Technology in Education
Project Number: H133D010306
Phone: 866/968-2223
http://www.washington.edu/accessit

Proximity Sensing Textile as a Wearable Aid to Orientation and Mobility for Individuals with Visual Impairment
Project Number: H133S060100
Phone: 978/663-9500, x. 282
Email: burns@aerodyne.com

Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Universal Interface and Information Technology Access
Project Number: H133E030012
Phone: 608/265-4621
http://trace.wisc.edu/itrerc

The Universal eLearner-An Innovative Approach for Universal Online Learning
Project Number: H133G050113
Phone: 212/502-7732
http://www.talkingbookproductions.com/news.asp

Wayfinding Technologies for People with Visual Impairments: Research and Development of an Integrated Platform
Project Number: H133A011903
Phone: 530/757-6800
http://www.wayfinding.org

Web Accessibility Initiative, Phase II
Project Number: H133A000500
Phone: 617/258-9741
http://www.w3.org/WAI

Documents from NARIC’s REHABDATA search listed are listed below:

2009

Moon, Nathan W. (Ed.). (2009). Technology and disability policy highlights 9.01: December 2008 — January 2009.
NARIC Accession Number: O17634
ABSTRACT: Newsletter summarizes legislative and regulatory activities, highlights recent technological and policy advances, and tracks emerging issues related to universal access to wireless technologies for individuals with disabilities. In this issue: (1) bill postpones the digital television transition by four months; (2) high-speed Internet grants supported by Congress; (3) 911 calling, numbering issues, and interoperability addressed in rulemaking; (4) closed captioning rulemaking; (5) consumers overcharged for telecommunication relay system; (6) authorities using Twitter for emergency communications; (7) article on cell phone and hearing aid compatibility; (8) hospitals with automated information systems have lower rates of death and complications; and (9) upcoming events and conferences.

2008

Baker, P.M.A., Bakowski, A., & Moon, N.W. (2008). Access to wireless technologies for people with disabilities: Issues opportunities and policy options.
NARIC Accession Number: O17179
ABSTRACT: Report presents the results of a policy Delphi to probe key stakeholders’ opinions of what constitute the most significant issues surrounding the adoption and use of technologies by people with disabilities, as a precursor to the development of new policy approaches. Specifically, the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Mobile Wireless Technologies for People with Disabilities (Wireless RERC) conducted a policy Delphi that asked participants to assess the reliability of forecasts, importance of issues, desirability of goals, and feasibility of proposed options, in four key areas: access and awareness, economic, regulatory and policy, and technology. Participants assessed the reliability of forecasts related to the future of wireless technologies, ranked the importance of key issues and barriers to increased wireless accessibility, and provided input for the subsequent development of potential policy initiatives to increase access to these technologies. 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. In addition to the specific policy options developed, one of the goals of the Wireless RERC has been to use the products of its research to generate policy recommendations and other research initiatives that will increase the accessibility of wireless technologies and services for persons with disabilities.

Baker, P.M.A., & Moon, N.W. (2008). Wireless technologies and accessibility for people with disabilities: Findings from a policy research instrument. Assistive Technology, 20(3), 149-156.
NARIC Accession Number: J55263
ABSTRACT: Article presents the results of a study conducted by the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Wireless Technologies to determine key stakeholders’ opinions on key issues and barriers surrounding access to wireless information and communication technologies. Using policy Delphi polling methodology to poll disability advocates, disability/wireless technology policy makers, and product developers and manufacturers, researchers identified a number of policy options for addressing issues and barriers that might affect the use of and access to wireless technologies for people with disabilities.

Birch, G., Ripat, J., & Watzke, J. (2008). Development of the public information and communication technology assessment tool. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, 3(5), 253-259.
NARIC Accession Number: J56209
ABSTRACT: Article describes the development of a tool that individuals, disability advocacy groups, business owners, healthcare providers, and urban planners can use to evaluate the accessibility of public information and communication technologies and the surrounding environment. Public information and communication technologies, such as information kiosks, automated banking machines and ticket dispensers, allow people to access services in a convenient and timely manner. However, the development of these technologies has occurred largely without consideration of access by people with disabilities. Development of the tool consisted of a review of the literature and key Canadian Standards Association documents, task analysis, and consultation with accessibility experts. Studies of content validity, tool usability, inter-rater and test-retest reliability were conducted in sites across Canada. Accessibility experts verified the content validity of the tool. The current version of the tool has incorporated the findings of a usability study. Initial testing indicated excellent agreement for inter-rater and test-retest reliability scores. Evaluation results provided by the tool can be used to develop recommendations and advocate for technical and environmental changes to improve access.

Dickson, Austin (Ed.). (2008). Technology and disability policy highlights 8.02: February 2008.
NARIC Accession Number: O17186
ABSTRACT: Newsletter summarizes legislative and regulatory activities, highlights recent technological and policy advances, and tracks emerging issues related to universal access to wireless technologies for individuals with disabilities. In this issue: (1) disability policy platforms of the presidential candidates, (2) the Americans with Disabilities Act Restoration Act update (3) Higher Education Act amendments benefit students with disabilities, (4) National Information and Referral Services Day, (5) digital television consumer education workshop focuses on people with disabilities, (6) hearing aid compatibility rules modified, (7) new way to file Federal Communication Commission complaints, (8) Section 508 and Section 255 issues, (9) studies and reports, (10) other items of interest, (11) wireless research updates, and (12) upcoming events.

Dickson, Austin (Ed.). (2008). Technology and disability policy highlights 8.04: April 2008.
NARIC Accession Number: O17305
ABSTRACT: Newsletter summarizes legislative and regulatory activities, highlights recent technological and policy advances, and tracks emerging issues related to universal access to wireless technologies for individuals with disabilities. In this issue: (1) legislation concerning accessible communications in rural areas, Internet accessibility, pedestrian safety, cell phone taxes, and wireless Internet nationwide; (2) Federal Communication Commission ruling regarding the commercial mobile alert system; (3) updates recommended for Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and Section 255 of the Communications Act of 1996; (4) report on emergency preparedness and disability; (5) report describing data on people with disabilities in the United States; (6) accessible voter participation; (7) best practices research; (8) funding opportunity for developmental disabilities policy research; (9) new online community for parents of visually impaired children; (10) wireless research updates; and (11) upcoming events.

Hamlin, L. (2008). National update: Equal access to technology for people with hearing and vision loss. Hearing Loss, 29(4), 24-26.
NARIC Accession Number: J55221
ABSTRACT: Article discusses the Congressional hearing on draft legislation designed to ensure equal access to technology for people who are hard of hearing, deaf, blind, deaf-blind, or have low vision. It also discusses the role of the Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology, the proposed Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Restoration Act in providing regulatory safeguards for people with disabilities.

Head, Lynzee (Ed.). (2008). Technology and disability policy highlights 8.03: March 2008.
NARIC Accession Number: O17304
ABSTRACT: Newsletter summarizes legislative and regulatory activities, highlights recent technological and policy advances, and tracks emerging issues related to universal access to wireless technologies for individuals with disabilities. In this issue: (1) censorship of the content of text messages by wireless service providers, (2) National 9-1-1 Education Month includes people with disabilities, (3) Court of Appeals puts hold on new enhanced 911 standards, (4) Federal Communications Commission (FCC) raises $19 billion in auction of spectrum licenses, (5) hearing aid compatibility waiver petitions denied by the FCC, (6) Government Accountability Office reports on management of FCC enforcement program, (7) survey examines accessibility of social networking websites (8) Telecommunications and Electronic and Information Technology Advisory Committee to release recommendations for Section 508 Standards of the Rehabilitation Act, (9) Google suggests that FCC open white spaces to wireless devices, (10) global positioning system devices displays sign language for virtual tours, (11) wireless research updates, and (12) upcoming events.

2007

(2007). 12 considerations for accessible emergency communications.
NARIC Accession Number: O17175
ABSTRACT: Fact sheet outlines technology, policy, and training and education issues to consider in providing accessible emergency communications to meet the needs of people with disabilities. A list of web sites with topic-specific information is included.

(2007). Accessible personal data assistance reviews. Braille Monitor, 50(5), 342-350.
NARIC Accession Number: J52624
ABSTRACT: Article evaluates software programs designed to make personal data assistants (PDAs) accessible to users who are blind, as well as PDAs with embedded screen-access technology. Products evaluated include Mobile Speak Pocket, Pocket Hall, the Icon, EasyLink, and the Maestro. Details are provided on software installation; pricing and availability, including manufacturer contact information; QWERTY or Braille keyboard compatibility; and Bluetooth connectivity.

(2007). Section 508 information technology access.
NARIC Accession Number: O17205
ABSTRACT: Article provides information on Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, which requires that electronic and information technology developed, procured, maintained, or used by the federal government be accessible to people with disabilities. The major provisions of the regulation and its implementation are discussed as well as the relationship of Section 508 to other accessibility legislation, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Resources for additional information about state laws or policies regarding accessible information technology are included.

(2007). Windows vista and Microsoft office 2007. Braille Monitor, 50(6), 441-445.
NARIC Accession Number: J53190
ABSTRACT: Article evaluates 2 software programs designed to make Windows Vista accessible computer users who are blind. They are: Window-Eyes 6.1 (GW Micro) and JAWS beta version 8.0.2107. Both programs were run with Office 2007 in Windows Vista, which includes the new ribbon tool bar.

Bell, L., & Peters, T. (2007). Accessible IT: Making digital information accessible is a group effort. Computers in Libraries, 27(6), 28-30.
NARIC Accession Number: J52621
ABSTRACT: Article focuses on several issues regarding accessibility of digital information and information technologies provided by libraries. The author contends that the first and most basic information that should be provided by librarians should be focused on the nearest talking book centers. The Library of Congress National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped coordinates a national network of libraries serving people who cannot read regular print comfortably, while people who work in assistive technology centers have knowledge regarding the latest advances. More than 60,000 talking books are available, while talking book centers provide free playback equipment. Talking book centers should have information regarding where students can get recorded textbooks (Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic) and information on Bookshare, which offers a selection of thousands of electronic books.

Goldberg, L. (2007). When good options go bad: HDTV accessibility. Hearing Loss Magazine, 28(5), 20-24.
NARIC Accession Number: J53063
ABSTRACT: Article explains why closed captioning may not be readily available on the new high definition television (HDTV) sets. Reasons involving the retailer; user controls; the set-top box; the role of broadcasters, cable networks, and satellite program providers; and high-end connection standards and technologies are discussed.

Vanderheiden, G.C. (2007). Redefining assistive technology, accessibility and disability based on recent technical advances. Journal of Technology in Human Services, 25(1/2), 147-158.
NARIC Accession Number: J52667
ABSTRACT: Article reviews recent advances in information technology, networking, and human interface research that impact the design of assistive technology products. The implications of these various technical advances for people with disabilities; the definitions of universal design, accessibility, and disability; and for human services are discussed.

2006

(2006). ADA and IT in focus. ADA In Focus, 11(1), 1-8.
NARIC Accession Number: O16375
ABSTRACT: Newsletter provides information related to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and accessible information technology (IT). In this issue: (1) state and local government program access, (2) training events, (3) advancing accessible IT, (4) ADA rulings, (5) news and resources, and (6) online resources. Allen, Chad. (2006). Access at the point-of-sale: The U.S. Netcom solution. Braille Monitor, 49(1), 55-58. NARIC Accession Number: J50290 ABSTRACT: Article addresses the problems with point-of-sale machines at the checkout counter for customers who are blind. Most use touch-screen technology that requires customers to enter data using a flat screen while reading changing printed information and instruction. Customers who are blind are unable to execute this transaction independently. One solution developed by U. S. Netcom is a credit card terminal that offers both a tactile number keypad and an audible component. It provides the blind or visually impaired customer access to fundamental aspects of the transaction process.

Anandan, N., Hammel, J., Madnick, F., & Mirza, M. (2006). A participatory program evaluation of a systems change program to improve access to information technology by people with disabilities. Disability and Rehabilitation, 28(19), 1185-1199.
NARIC Accession Number: J51563
ABSTRACT: Study examined the effects of a system change program providing access to information technology (IT) for people with disabilities transitioning out of nursing homes into the community. Program participants learned how to access and use IT as a tool for social action and networking. A participatory action research program evaluation of the program was conducted with 7 participants and 5 program staff members to explore environmental barriers to IT access and the efficacy of the program in addressing these barriers. After training, participants showed significant improvement in IT use relative to performance, self-efficacy, and importance, satisfaction, and control. Qualitative findings supported the quantitative results and also revealed numerous barriers to IT access that people with disabilities encounter within their communities.

Cavender, A., Ladner, R.E., & Riskin, E.A. (2006). Mobile ASL: Intelligibility of sign language video as constrained by mobile phone technology. ASSETS ’06: Proceedings of the 8th international ACM SIGACCESS conference on computers and accessibility, October 22 - 25 2006, Portland, OR, 71-78.
NARIC Accession Number: O17036
ABSTRACT: Paper examines the feasibility of sign language communication with cell phones. Mobile phones with video cameras and the ability to transmit and play videos have the potential to give people who are deaf access to the convenience of cell phones in their preferred language, American Sign Language (ASL). The goal of the Mobile ASL project is to provide intelligible compressed ASL video, including detailed facial expressions and accurate movement and gesture reproduction, using current video cell phone networks. The results are presented from one focus group and one user study conducted to investigate the desire and/or need for mobile video phone communication, the technical and non-technical challenges involved with the technology, and what features of compressed video might enhance intelligibility. This paper was presented at the Eighth International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility in Portland, Oregon on October 23-25, 2006.

Jhangiani, I. (2006). Usability and accessibility issues in the localization of assistive technology. ASSETS ’06: Proceedings of the 8th international ACM SIGACCESS conference on computers and accessibility, October 22 - 25 2006, Portland, OR, 299-300.
NARIC Accession Number: O17055
ABSTRACT: Discusses the usability and accessibility problems that confront assistive technology software and hardware users with disabilities in countries other than where the technology was developed. Six participants evaluated two assistive technology programs on a portable USB drive loaded onto a laptop computer: an electronic text reader and note taker, and a text to audio converter. All participants were experience computer users, had visual impairments, and were of Indian origin. Participants were asked to complete two tasks using the software: First, users were read a paragraph aloud by the tool, and then asked to pause and restart the reading using the synthetic speech inbuilt, using icons on the interface. Second, they were asked to convert a Word document to audio format using the icons on the interface. Participants were then asked a series of questions to elicit qualitative feedback. All sessions were video-recorded. Data analysis is detailed. Guidelines for software localization were developed based on the results; however, they are not discussed in the article. This paper was presented at the Eighth International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility in Portland, Oregon on October 23-25, 2006.

Strauss, Carol (Comp.). (2006). Assistive technology products for information access.
NARIC Accession Number: R08757
ABSTRACT: This reference circular lists products that enable people with visual or physical disabilities to access information. They convert printed material into synthetic speech, Braille, or enlarged text. They include screen readers, speech synthesizers, voice recognition software, software for Web access, scanning software, reading machines, and scanners. Descriptive listings include the source and price for the products. Complete address and contact information for the sources are provided to verify current pricing and product specifications. A selected bibliography and selected Internet resources are included.

2005

Angelidis, P., & Vasiliadis, T. (2005). Methodology and guidelines for the evaluation of accessibility of public terminal devices by people with visual or hearing disabilities: Sound, audio and speech design considerations. Technology and Disability, 17(1), 11-24.
NARIC Accession Number: J48955
ABSTRACT: Article presents guidelines and procedures for testing the accessibility of card-reading or other terminal devices installed in public places by people with visual or hearing impairments. Testing focused on the areas of sound, audio, and speech perception. Findings recommend a means by which background noise measurement should be performed. The goal is to define the thresholds over which an acoustic shielding of the card-reading machine is considered necessary.

Bryen, D.N., Carey, A.C., & Friedman, M.G. (2005). Use of electronic technologies by people with intellectual disabilities. Mental Retardation, 43(5), 322-333.
NARIC Accession Number: J49390
ABSTRACT: Article presents results of a survey on the use of electronic technologies by people with intellectual disabilities. Participants were asked whether they used each of 16 types of technologies on a regular basis. The responses showed that the most common technologies used included the telephone (89 percent) and the remote control (83 percent). Additionally, 41 percent of the participants used a computer on a regular basis, 25 percent used the Internet, and 11 percent used electronic organizers. Age, work setting, and self-perceived ability to manually copy information significantly affected the number of technologies used. Primary barriers to utilization included lack of access, training and support, and cost of the technologies. Interest in using the technologies was high and participants offered suggestions for improving accessibility.

Giusti, E., Landau, S., Naghshineh, K., Wiener, W. (2005). Creating accessible science museums with user-activated environmental audio beacons (Ping!). Assistive Technology, 17(2), 133-143.
NARIC Accession Number: J49811
ABSTRACT: Article describes a new invention designed to make science museums more accessible for visitors with visual impairments. The system, known as Ping!, includes a wireless network of user-activated audio beacons that are triggered through a telephone interface. Ping! allows users to navigate an exhibit area, listen to audio descriptions, and interact with exhibits using a cell phone. User testing indicates that the system is effective as a wayfinding tool and as a means of providing accessible information on museum content.

Head, Lynzee (Ed.). (2005). Technology and disability policy highlights 5.03: March, 2005.
NARIC Accession Number: O16080
ABSTRACT: Report summarizes legislative and regulatory activities, highlights recent technological and political advances, and tracks emerging issues related to universal access to wireless technologies for individuals with disabilities. In this issue: (1) Senate Commerce Committee announces subcommittee leadership; (2) Georgia General Assembly passes bills regarding wireless privacy and electronic health records; (3) Indiana bill fails to limit local government wireless; (4) Federal Communications Commission (FCC) names members of Consumer Advisory Committee, seeks input on spectrum needs of emergency response providers, and starts clock on SBC-AT&T review; (5) Kevin Martin succeeds Michael Powell as FCC chairman; (6) John Muleta resigns as Chief of FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau; (7) spectrum opened for wireless broadband; (8) truth-in-billing extended to wireless phones; (9) studies, reports, and publications; (10) other activities and items of interest; and (11) upcoming events.

Hodges, B. (2005). Consumer electronics: Crisis at the big box store, part three. Braille Monitor, 48(6), 396-407.
NARIC Accession Number: J49342
ABSTRACT: Article evaluates the accessibility of some popular consumer electronic devices, including DVD (digital video disc) players, home theater systems, MP3 players, DVR (digital video recorder) systems, satellite and digital cable systems, online television guides, microwave ovens, and thermostats. The author provides answers to some of the questions frequently asked about these devices.

Jacko, J., Law, C., Peterson, B., & Tobias, J. (2005). Universal designs versus assistive technologies: Research agendas and practical applications. ASSETS ’05: Proceedings of the 7th international ACM SIGACCESS conference on computers and accessibility, October 09 - 12, 2005, Baltimore, MD, 2-3.
NARIC Accession Number: O16917
ABSTRACT: Article briefly reviews issues concerning policy and research agendas for assistive technology and the practical application of universal design solutions for information and computing technologies.

Tusler, Anthony. (2005). How to create disability access to technology: Best practices in electronic and information technology companies.
NARIC Accession Number: R08720
Abstract: Booklet is designed for technology companies that want to produce accessible products and services for people with disabilities. Chapter 1 presents the background and context that led to the publication of this guide. Chapters 2 through 7 offer insights and examples for technology industry accessibility experts. Chapter 8 profiles AOL, a company recognized for its efforts to provide accessible technology. Chapters 9 and 10 provide examples for disability advocates and a look at the future of accessibility.

2004

(2004). Access to technology in the workplace: In our own words.
NARIC Accession Number: O15676
ABSTRACT: In this CD-ROM presentation, employees with a variety of disabilities describe how they use computers and promote the provision of accessible electronic and information technology in the workplace. It was developed by Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology (DO-IT) in collaboration with the Information Technology Technical Assistance and Training Center (ITTATC).

(2004). Training preview for industry.
Accession Number: O15673
ABSTRACT: Manual and attached CD-ROM contain resources for introducing key concepts regarding disability, accessible design, and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act to the electronic and information technology industry. The Information Technology Technical Assistance and Training Center provides free training to presenters of this material as well as color handouts for participants.

Head, Lynzee (Ed.). (2004). Technology and disability policy highlights 4.06: June, 2004.
NARIC Accession Number: O16065
ABSTRACT: Report summarizes legislative and regulatory activities, highlights recent technological and political advances, and tracks emerging issues related to universal access to wireless technologies for individuals with disabilities. In this issue: (1) legislation announced to create regulatory framework for Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP); (2) House subcommittee hearing focuses on public safety interoperability; (3) Senate committee holds hearing on VoIP Regulatory Freedom Act; (4) comments sough on Federal disability and rehabilitation research agenda; (5) Federal Communications Commission (FCC) addresses health information, privacy, and the use of telecommunication relay services; (6) FCC announces exclusive jurisdiction over the use of unlicensed spectrum; (7) FCC revises rules for educational spectrum, facilitating wireless broadband; (8) telecommunications relay service rules redefined; (9) international activities; (10) reports; and (11) other activities and items of interest.

Landau, S. (2004). Creating accessible science museums with user-activated audio beacons (PING!). In D. Anson (Ed.), Proceedings of the RESNA 27th International Conference: Technology and Disability: Research, Design, Practice and Policy. Arlington, VA: RESNA Press.
NARIC Accession Number: O15817
ABSTRACT: Paper describes a system designed to improve accessibility to science museums for visitors who are visually impaired. The system, nicknamed Ping!, incorporates a network of wireless environmental audio beacons that can be triggered by users. It allows users to navigate an exhibit area, listen to audio descriptions, and interact with exhibits using a cell-phone based interface. Results of user testing indicate that the system is effective as a navigation tool and as a means of providing accessible information on museum content. This paper was presented at the 2004 annual conference of RESNA, the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America and is available on CD-ROM.

Myers III, Edward L. (2004). Accessible information technology: An overview of the current state of federal and state laws and policies.
NARIC Accession Number: O15451
ABSTRACT: Report provides an overview of the current state of federal and state laws and policies relating to accessible information technology. Laws enacted to increase access to technological information and devices for people with disabilities are discussed. These include Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Individuals with Disabilities Education, Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Help America Vote Act of 2002, and the Hearing Aid Compatibility Act of 1988. Author briefly addresses current litigation involving accessible information technology and identifies problems with existing legislation or regulations that need to be addressed by Congress and the Executive Branch. He also reviews state initiatives related to accessible information technology.

Upton, Thomas D., & Whitney, Michael. (2004). Assistive technology: Unequal access in postsecondary education. Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling, 35(1), 23-28.
NARIC Accession Number: J47290
ABSTRACT: Article discusses issues related to the accessibility of electronic and information technology at postsecondary educational institutions. Areas of examination include access legislation, electronic and information technology integration, physical access, guidelines for electronic accessibility, and accessibility standards. Suggestions for addressing barriers to access and implications for rehabilitation counselors are presented.

2003

(2003). Consumer training.
NARIC Accession Number: O15675
Abstract: Package includes a CD-ROM and information designed to educate a consumer audience about electronic and information technology. It covers such topics as: defining individual needs, finding accessible products, advocating accessibility, and understanding key accessibility legislation. Module 1 discusses how to find and buy accessible information technology and Module 2 focuses on technology access for all.

(2003). Section 508 digital talking book.
NARIC Accession Number: O15677
ABSTRACT: Contains the text of the Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards developed in support of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. Section 508 mandates that federal departments and agencies develop, procure, maintain, and use electronic and information technology that is accessible by people with disabilities. Text is provided in written form and spoken in a natural voice.

Baker, P.M.A., & Bellordre, C. (2003). Factors influencing adoption of wireless technologies: Key policy issues, barriers and opportunities for people with disabilities. Information Technology and Disabilities, 9(2).
NARIC Accession Number: J48639
ABSTRACT: Article presents preliminary results of a project designed to develop a framework for assessing, developing, and implementing policy initiatives that support increased access to wireless information and communication technologies by people with disabilities. Discussion focuses on key issues facing users of wireless technologies who have disabilities, including barriers to access and use, as well as opportunities for reducing those barriers. A full report can be found under accession number O16351.

Baquis, David. (2003). Section 508 from the hard of hearing perspective. Hearing Loss, 24(2), 28-30.
NARIC Accession Number: J45181
ABSTRACT: Article provides an explanation of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and how it ensures a minimum level of access in the federal workplace for people with hearing loss and other disabilities. Section 508 requirements apply to the purchase, development, or maintenance of electronic and information technology for use by federal employees with disabilities and by people with disabilities who need access to those federal agencies. Includes resources for additional information.

Bellordre, Christine A. (Ed.). (2003). Disability/access policy highlights 3.03: March 2003.
NARIC Accession Number: O16046
ABSTRACT: Report summarizes legislative and regulatory activities, highlights recent technological and political advances, and tracks emerging issues related to universal access to wireless technologies for individuals with disabilities. In this issue: (1) Access Board provides Section 508 standards in multiple languages and formats; (2) accessibility handbook; (3) interim rules for enforcing Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act as it applies to the Department of Homeland Security; (4) Interagency Committee on Disability Research unveils new website on disability research; (5) court rulings and other activities and items of interest; (6) Web sites, journals, research, and books; and (7) RERC updates.

Boone, R., & Higgins, K. (2003). Reading, writing, and publishing digital text. Remedial and Special Education, 24(3), 132-140.
NARIC Accession Number: J45631
ABSTRACT: Article discusses the impact of digital technology on the way students, teachers, and researchers read, write, and publish information. Describes educational uses for electronic books, online publications such as electronic journals, and digital libraries. Addresses issues such as instructional strategies, accessibility, and copyright.

Thompson, T. (2003). The interdependent roles of all players in making technology accessible. Journal of Special Education Technology (JSET), 18(4), 21-27.
NARIC Accession Number: J47127
ABSTRACT: Article provides an overview of the current state of technology accessibility by examining the roles of key players responsible for making technology accessible. Players include consumers, technology developers (including developers of assistive technology, operating systems, software applications, user agents, and authoring tools), standards organizations, schools and colleges, employers, advocates and legislators.

Tobias, J. (2003). Information technology and universal design: An agenda for accessible technology. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 97(10), 592-601.
NARIC Accession Number: J46560
ABSTRACT: Author presents his views on the current status of accessible technology, where the most significant barriers remain, and what can be done to address them. Article addresses informational and organizational barriers to implementing technology and the facilitation of universal design.

2002

(2002). Accessible calculators. Tech Connections Assistive Technology Quick Reference Series, 1-4.
NARIC Accession Number: O14623
ABSTRACT: Quick reference guide provides information on where to find calculators that are accessible to people with visual or mobility impairments.

(2002). AT-IT compatibility guidelines: Version 1.05.
NARIC Accession Number: O15067
ABSTRACT: Document contains guidelines developed by assistive technology (AT) developed to help electronic and information technology vendors make their products more compatible with current and future AT, and therefore more accessible to people with disabilities.

(2002). DBTAC toolkit.
NARIC Accession Number: O15674
ABSTRACT: Manual and attached CD-ROM provide information to be used by Disability and Business Technical Assistance Centers (DBTACs) to present a series of topics, including: disability, electronic and information technology accessibility, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, and Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act. Includes demos of products that support those topics. The slides have been carefully put together for a general audience and can be used individually or in sections that are designed to stand alone.

Armstrong, Thomas J. (2002). Tools for assessment of ergonomic aspects of telecommunication equipment. In J. M. Winters, C. Robinson, R. Simpson, and G. Vanderheiden, (Eds.), Emerging and Accessible Telecommunications, Information and Healthcare Technologies, (pp. 29-36). RESNA Press: Arlington, VA, Pgs. 29-36.
NARIC Accession Number: O15102
ABSTRACT: Chapter describes a method to help designers of telecommunications equipment better understand how humans interact with machines. Sources of information for the human-machine system include prediction, observations, interviews, critical incident methods, work sampling, and available records.

Baquis, David. (2002). Section 508 drive accessible technology. In J. M. Winters, C. Robinson, R. Simpson, and G. Vanderheiden, (Eds.), Emerging and Accessible Telecommunications, Information and Healthcare Technologies, (pp. 37-42). RESNA Press: Arlington, VA, Pgs. 37-42.
NARIC Accession Number: O15103
ABSTRACT: Chapter discusses the role that Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act plays in promoting accessibility for electronic and information technology. Section 508 requires that all electronic and information technology developed, purchased, maintained, or used by federal agencies be accessible to people with disabilities. Requirements, impact on employment, challenges, misconceptions, and resources for additional information on the statute are discussed.

Barnicle, K., Harkins, J., & Vanderheiden, G.C. (2002). Access to telecommunication technologies. In J. M. Winters, C. Robinson, R. Simpson, and G. Vanderheiden, (Eds.), Emerging and Accessible Telecommunications, Information and Healthcare Technologies, (pp. 95-111). RESNA Press: Arlington, VA, Pgs. 185-219.
NARIC Accession Number: O15116
ABSTRACT: Chapter provides an overview of key topics related to providing access to telecommunications technologies for people with disabilities. Each topic area includes a discussion of accessibility issues faced by people with disabilities; recent advances in technologies that might affect this particular issue, and relevant disability research, issues, questions, and challenges. Topics discussed include: user interface, interoperability, interactive voice response, modality translation, next generation deaf telecommunication, cross disability telecollaboration and telepresence, emergency and disaster communication, transition and migration, privacy and security, and the role of industry standards-compatibility.

Bellordre, Christine A. (Ed.). (2002). Disability/access policy highlights 2.9: October 2002.
NARIC Accession Number: O16042
ABSTRACT: Report summarizes legislative and regulatory activities, highlights recent technological and political advances, and tracks emerging issues related to universal access to wireless technologies for individuals with disabilities. In this issue: (1) President Bush proclaims October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month; (2) the Help America to Vote Act; (3) information technology access law passed in North Carolina; (4) White House announces the launch of DisabilityInfo.gov; (5) nominees to the National Council on Disability confirmed; (6) Federal Communications Commission (FCC) releases fifth Report and Order on telecommunication relay services; (7) FCC seeks comment on Motorola’s proposal to change wireless E-911 processing methods; (8) FCC seeks comment on TRS certification renewal applications; (9) court cases; (10) other activities and items of interests; and (11) Websites, journals, and books.

Harkins, Judith. (2002). ICDR summit on interference to hearing technologies.
NARIC Accession Number: O15069
ABSTRACT: PowerPoint outline of the introduction and overview presented at the Interagency Committee on Disability Research (ICDR) Summit on Interference to Hearing Technologies by Digital Wireless Telephones at Gallaudet University on September 4, 2003. The purpose of the summit was to highlight the problem of interference to hearing technologies by digital wireless telephones.

Owens, Janet. (2002). Accessible telecommunications information for people with communication impairment. In R. Simpson (Ed.), Proceedings of the RESNA 25th International Conference: Technology and Disability: Research, Design, Practice and Policy (pp. 198-200). Arlington, VA: RESNA Press.
NARIC Accession Number: O14517
ABSTRACT: Paper describes the telecommunication information needs and preferences of people with communication impairment. Survey respondents reported using a variety of information formats but preferred receiving information from a therapist or caregiver. The least important sources were audiotape, the Internet, and information found in the community. This paper was presented at the 2002 annual conference of RESNA, the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America.

2001

Cheng, D.P.K., & Wong, B.K.P. (2001). A universal interface for telecommunication. In R. Simpson (Ed.), Proceedings of the RESNA 2001 Annual Conference: The AT Odyssey Continues (pp. 103-105). Arlington, VA: RESNA Press.
NARIC Accession Number: O14162
ABSTRACT: Paper on the design and development of a personal computer-based universal interface for telecommunications that is suitable for communication between users with and without motor and sensory disabilities. This paper was presented at the 2001 annual conference of RESNA, the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America.

Kirchner, C., & Schmeidler, E. (2001). Adding audio description: Does it make a difference? Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, 95(4), 197-212.
NARIC Accession Number: J41882
ABSTRACT: Study examining the impact for adults who are legally blind of watching television science programs with and without audio description. Participants were 111 legally blind adults age 20-89. About half watched an audio described version of “Orphans of Time” from the New Explorers series on public television and a narrated, non-described version of “Wild Dogs of Africa” from the Nature series, while the other half watched a narrated version of the former program and an audio described version of the latter. Participants were asked 34 questions about the content of the two programs; results indicated that participants learned more from the audio described versions. Participants were also asked to evaluate the programs and to say how comfortable they would feel talking with a sighted person about the programs. Results indicate that participants were more satisfied with the audio described versions and would feel more comfortable talking to a sighted person about them.

2000

(2000). Information technology and people with disabilities: The current state of Federal accessibility. Presented by the Attorney General to the President of the United States, April 2000: Executive summary and recommendations.
NARIC Accession Number: O13400
ABSTRACT: Executive summary and recommendations from a report by the U.S. Justice Department on the accessibility of electronic and information technology (EIT) used by federal agencies. The report was prepared in accordance with amendments to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act which prohibit federal agencies from procuring, developing, maintaining, or using EIT that is inaccessible to people with disabilities after August 7, 2000, unless the agency can establish that use of accessible EIT would involve an undue burden. This document summarizes the requirements of the Section 508 amendments, and provides recommendations related to increased coordination between federal agencies, technical assistance, advisory committees, dispute resolution, procurement procedures, and specific technologies (web pages, software, telecommunications, information kiosks, and office equipment).

(2000). Proceedings of the Fourth U.S./Canada Conference on Technology for the Blind, October 27-28, 1999. Braille Monitor, 43(1), 1-129.
NARIC Accession Number: R07956
ABSTRACT: Issue of the Braille Monitor containing proceedings of the Fourth U.S./Canada Conference on Technology for the Blind, held in Baltimore, Maryland on October 27-28, 1999. Includes a keynote speech by Raymond Kurzweil (inventor of the reading machine) discussing information access technology for the blind and its place in the history and future of information technology (p9-23). Other topics include: Federal laws and regulations regarding access technology for the blind; implications of new technology for vocational rehabilitation (VR); the inaccessibility of America Online; talking bank machines; refreshable Braille displays; the need for research on Braille reading and haptic perception; Braille translation software; Web-Braille (a new distribution system for Braille books); digital talking books; desktop publishing software and accessibility standards; concerns of publishers about abuse of scanning technology and electronic files; and non-visual (speech) access to electronic displays.

Barnicle, K., Law, C.M., & Vanderheiden, G.C. (2000). Cross disability telecollaboration systems.
NARIC Accession Number: O13969
ABSTRACT: Paper discussing accessibility issues presented by telecommunication, teleconferencing, and telecollaboration systems incorporating multiple streams of information in multiple formats, and describing potential directions for providing completely cross-disability accessible telecommunication and telecollaboration systems in the short term and the long term.

Boyer, C. (2000). Libraries and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. Library Hi Tech News, 17(5), 27-29.
NARIC Accession Number: J39755
ABSTRACT: Article about the implications for libraries of the 1998 amendments to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, which require the federal government to develop consistent government-wide standards for the purchase of accessible technology, including hardware, software, and other electronic equipment compatible with assistive technology (AT) used by people with disabilities. Topics include: provisions of the amendments to Section 508; how Section 508 applies to public libraries; technical assistance resources for Section 508; and state technical assistance projects related to Section 508, highlighting the Texas Assistive Technology Partnership (TATP) and the Washington Assistive Technology Alliance (WATA).

Chamalian, D. (2000). Legislative update: US government enforcing local compliance to ADA. Exceptional Parent, 30(12), 72.
NARIC Accession Number: J40979
ABSTRACT: Article on recent actions by two federal agencies aimed at improving access for people with disabilities: (1) The Justice Department’s Project Civic Access initiative to monitor the extent to which cities, towns, and villages have complied with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); (2) a new rule issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requiring television stations and program distributors to include audio descriptions with television programs; (3) new FCC rules making emergency information provided by local broadcasters more accessible to people with visual impairments and hearing impairments; and (4) a new FCC rule requiring digital television receivers to come equipped with closed captioning decoder circuitry.

1999

Ballabio, E., & Whitehouse, D. (1999). Ageing and disability in the information society: A European perspective on research and technological development. Technology and Disability, 10(1), 3-10.
NARIC Accession Number: J36820
ABSTRACT: Article focuses on the European Commission’s efforts to empower elderly people and people with disabilities, and to improve their quality of life through the work of Telematics for Integration of Disabled and Elderly People Initiative (TIDE). TIDE is an initiative for research and development in the field of assistive technologies and information and communication technologies. Three distinct programs are explored including Telematics application, communication technologies, and information technologies. The scope and objectives of TIDE are described, and its constituents outlined along with demographic trends, changing demands, and market considerations. Success stories of six projects are detailed, including home automation technologies, personal adaptive mobility aids, electronic document accessibility for people with vision impairments, smart card and automated teller technology, audio description of television for users with visual impairments, and interface access for information society applications and services. Future directions of the TIDE program include the expectation of introducing over 30 products to the market and fostering the creation of a new generation of user-friendly, dependable, and cost-effective services.

Emiliani, P.L., & Stephanidis, C. (1999). “Connecting” to the information society: A European perspective. Technology and Disability, 10(1), 21-44.
NARIC Accession Number: J36822
ABSTRACT: Article addresses the accessibility of interactive applications and services in the Information Society by elderly people and people with disabilities. Arguments are presented for proactive and generic strategies towards designing for the broadest possible end-user population, including people who are older and people with disabilities, as opposed to reactive, adaptation-based approaches. Research and development in the area of accessibility in Europe is reviewed, following the evolution of research work from adaptation based solutions to the notion of universal access to the Information Society. The paper also reviews the current state of the art in the area of universal design, and elaborates on the contributions of the unified user interface development method towards the development of an accessible Information Society. Necessary steps to advance the available results beyond technological feasibility, towards economic efficiency and efficacy are discussed. The need for international collaboration is discussed along with recent efforts in this direction.

Schuyler, M. (1999). The view from the top left corner: Adapting for impaired patrons. Computers in Libraries, 19(6), 24-29.
NARIC Accession Number: J36704
ABSTRACT: This article presents a personal account of outfitting a library with computers for the visually impaired using $31,000 in grant money. The step by step process provides insights, financial considerations and other rational behind the planning, purchasing, and setting up of such a program. Considerations are offered for software, computers, scanners, monitors, printers, speech synthesizers. The article addresses some graphic user interface (GUI) problems that arose trying to fully utilize a computer software reading program, “JAWS for Windows”, and offers their solutions. Training staff to use the machines is discussed. Company information and specific costs are listed. One important emphasis made by this article is the inclusion of people with vision difficulties for at least the planning process. Among other reasons, it helps to avoid costly mistakes through ineffective purchases.

Vanderheiden, G.C. (1999). Impact of digital miniaturization and networked topologies on access to the next generation telecommunication by people with visual disabilities. Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, 36(4), 365-370.
NARIC Accession Number: J38729
ABSTRACT: Article about new barriers to accessibility of telecommunications for persons with visual impairments created by incorporation of visual displays and other non-auditory features, and discussing new developments that may allow individuals who are blind or visually impaired to retain access to next generation telecommunications products. These include: (1) advances in digital electronics and voice technologies; (2) new cross-disability access strategies; and (3) network-based services for cross-model translation of information.

Watkins, J. (1999). What’s so special about VIP’s: Information provision to visually impaired people. Library Hi Tech News, 13-16.
NARIC Accession Number: J38371
ABSTRACT: Article describing projects to improve library access for blind and visually impaired persons (VIP’s) in the United Kingdom and the European Union. Projects described include: Share the Vision (a British program promoting cooperation between public library and organizations concerned with the needs of print-handicapped individuals); the TESTLAB (TEsting Systems using Telematics for Library Access for Blind and visually handicapped readers) project, which until its end in 1998 carried out practical experiments in providing direct access to public library for VIP users; the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI); and the SEDODEL (SEcure DOcument DELivery for blind and partially sighted people) project, co-sponsored by the European Commission, which is aimed at the development of systems for electronic formatting of documents (Document Transformation System), reading of electronic documents (Document Reader System), and management of electronic rights (Electronic Rights Management System).

Watkins, M. (1999). Virtual comprehension: Cutting edge technology bridges the communication gap. Volta Voices, 6(6), 10-14.
NARIC Accession Number: J37930
ABSTRACT: Article about means of accessibility for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing using telecommunications devices. Topics include: captioning, including dual field/dual language captioning and multimedia captioning; The Caption Center of WGBH; interactive links for Web TV; the Motion Picture Access Project (Mopix); the DTV (digital television) Access Project; Step-Into-Reading captions and Enhanced Arthur (programs for children who are deaf); the Web Access Project; and a model for access to online learning called PIVOT (MIT’s Physics Interactive Video Tutor Project).

1998

Brykman, L., Kelso, D., & Vanderheiden, G.C. (1998). Proposal for a universal remote console communication (URCC) protocol. In S. Sprigle (Ed.), Proceedings of the RESNA 1998 Annual Conference: The State of the Arts and Science (pp. 361-363). Arlington, VA: RESNA Press.
NARIC Accession Number: O12921
ABSTRACT: Paper reporting on development of the Universal Remote Console Communications (URCC) protocol, a new non-proprietary standard for infrared remote devices that control products such as televisions, stereos, and other appliances. The URCC protocol is aimed at providing general purpose remote console capability to any product using an infrared remote controller, as well as public information systems such as kiosks and ATM’s. This paper was presented at the 1998 annual conference of RESNA, the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America.

Haravon, A.B., & Harkins, J. (1998). Cell phones, TTYs, and you. Volta Voices, 5(2), 14.
NARIC Accession Number: J35120
ABSTRACT: Article about the accessibility of wireless telecommunication devices to users of TTY’s. Discusses problems with wireless telecommunication devices such as cell phones, pagers, and cordless phones. Topics include: why digital devices are less accessible than analog devices; how to adapt an analog cell phone system to a TTY; and tips for shoppers.

Kelso, D., Law, C., & Vanderheiden, G.C. (1998). Cross-product, cross-disability interface extensions: EZ access. In S. Sprigle (Ed.), Proceedings of the RESNA 1998 Annual Conference: The State of the Arts and Science (pp. 346-348). Arlington, VA: RESNA Press.
NARIC Accession Number: O12917
ABSTRACT: Paper proposing a package of interface techniques called “EZ Access” that together allow individuals with a wide range of disabilities to access and use electronic devices. These techniques are designed to be flexible enough to apply to an extremely wide range of products, from cellular telephones to ATM’s to microwave ovens. This paper was presented at the 1998 annual conference of RESNA, the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America.

Navoy, J. (1998). Motion Picture Access II: Final report.
NARIC Accession Number: O15266
ABSTRACT: Final report of project that explored how to: (1) make movies in theaters accessible to deaf, hard-of-hearing, blind, and visually impaired people through closed captions and descriptive narration without altering the experience for the general audience; (2) identify consumer preferences for the devices; and (3) offer suggestions for future research and development. This report includes the results of these goals, and appendices containing a budget and financial information; project summary, frequently asked questions, and milestones; descriptions of the Rear Window Captioning system, and the motion picture caption scheduler, closed-captioning sequencer, and media access sequencer software; a descriptive brochure; newspaper articles and releases; consumer feedback; business plan; and marketing materials.

Stahl, C. (1998). Assistive tech goes to the movies. Advance for Occupational Therapy Practitioners, 14(33), 24-25.
NARIC Accession Number: J35534
ABSTRACT: Article about two new products designed to make movie-going more accessible for patrons who are blind/visually impaired or deaf/hard of hearing: the Rear Window Captioning System, and Descriptive Video Service (DVS) Theatrical. The article describes the two systems and efforts to bring them into more movie theaters, including the Motion Picture Access Project funded by NIDRR (the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research).

Vanderheiden, G.C. (1998). Universal design and assistive technology in communication and information technologies: Alternatives or complements? Assistive Technology, 10(1), 29-36.
NARIC Accession Number: J35303
ABSTRACT: Article discussing the relative advantages for individuals with disabilities of universal design and assistive technology in communications and information technology. Discusses three approaches to providing access for individuals who have difficulty interacting with the world as it is currently designed: change the individuals, provide them with tools they can use, or change the environment. The author suggests that all three approaches are essential to the ability of most people with disabilities to function effectively. He illustrates this view by contrasting personal workstations with systems shared with others. He concludes that universal design and assistive technology should be in partnership. The author also discusses the question of how much is commercially practicable in such areas as the following: voice synthesis technologies; small, high-resolution displays; microprocessors; voice recognition; EZ Access protocols (which provide cross-disability access to such devices as touchscreen kiosks); and computer operating systems (Apple, IBM, UNIX, and Microsoft).

Documents from ERIC search at www.eric.ed.gov are listed below:

2008

Blansett, J. (2008). Digital Discrimination. Library Journal, 133(13), 26-29.
ERIC #: EJ807456
ABSTRACT: In recent years, the Internet has become a digital commons of commerce and education. However, accessibility standards have often been overlooked online, and the digital equivalents to curb-cuts and other physical accommodations have only rarely been implemented to serve those with print disabilities. (A print disability can be a learning disability, a visual impairment, or a physical disability. Individuals diagnosed with a print disability cannot access print in the standard way). Most librarians are aware of disability legislation such as the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). But while this piece of legislation, a civil rights law, has gone far to prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities, the extent of web use today had not yet been considered when the ADA was enacted nearly 20 years ago. As such, the ADA does not specifically address the increasingly important sphere of information technology. The ADA requires that places of public accommodation and the services they provide be accessible, but there’s no specific reference to the Internet as a place of public accommodation and service for individuals with disabilities. This is where Section 508 of the U.S. Code comes in. This article reports that a recent study of how well libraries adhere to the standards it sets shows that they are not yet fully in compliance.

Davies, D.K., Palmer, S.B., Stock, S.E., & Wehmeyer, M.L. (2008). Evaluation of Cognitively Accessible Software to Increase Independent Access to Cellphone Technology for People with Intellectual Disability. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 52(12), 1155-1164.
ERIC #: EJ818757
ABSTRACT: Background: There are over two billion telephones in use worldwide. Yet, for millions of Americans with intellectual disabilities (ID), access to the benefits of cellphone technology is limited because of deficits in literacy, numerical comprehension, the proliferation of features and shrinking size of cellphone hardware and user interfaces. Developments in smart phone technology and PDA-based cellphones provide an opportunity to make the social and safety benefits of cellphones more independently accessible to this population. Method: This project involved employment of universal design and other specialized software development methods to create a multimedia cellphone interface prototype which was compared with a typical mainstream cellphone in a usability evaluation for individuals with ID. Participants completed a structured set of incoming/outgoing phone tasks using both the experimental and control conditions. Usability measurements included the amount of assistance needed and errors made in completing the cellphone use sequence. Results: A total of 22 individuals with ID participated in the research by engaging in a series of incoming and outgoing cellphone calls using both the multimedia cellphone prototype system and a mainstream Nokia 6360 cellphone. Test subjects required significantly less help (P = 0.001) and made significantly fewer errors (P less than 0.001) when completing eight calls using the specialized multimedia phone system as compared with the mainstream phone. Conclusions: The statistical evidence of both usability results provide promising evidence of the feasibility of implementing universal design and other specialized software development methodologies for increasing independent access to the benefits of cellphone technologies for students and adults with ID. Issues related to designing cognitively accessible interfaces, study limitations and future directions are discussed.

2006

Strauss, K.P. (2006). The Need for Federal Legislation and Regulation Prohibiting Telecommunications and Information Services Discrimination. National Council on Disability: Washington, D.C. ERIC #: ED496278
Available in full-text at: www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/contentdelivery/servlet/ERICServlet?accno=ED496278.
ABSTRACT: This paper explores the need to adopt legislative and regulatory safeguards to guarantee equal access by people with disabilities to evolving high speed broadband, wireless and Internet-based technologies. Recommendations include: (1) Communications Access—FCC or Congress: Extend the telecommunications accessibility requirements of Section 255 of the Communications Act to Internet-based services and equipment. Disability safeguards under the new legal protections should include, among other things, accessible and compatible user interfaces on end-user equipment; a common standard for reliable and interoperable text and video IP and wireless communications; redundant ways of controlling devices and services; and access to user guides and technical support; (2) Video Programming Access—FCC or Congress: Clarify that existing captioning obligations apply to IPTV and other types of multi-channel video programming services that are Internet-based; (3) Universal Service—FCC or Congress: Allow Universal Service Fund (USF) support for broadband services to low-income individuals with disabilities, so that these individuals can choose between public switched telephone network or broadband services when they are entitled to Lifeline and Link Up-type funding. Require all IP-based providers (not only interconnected Voice over Internet protocol providers, as is currently required) to contribute to the USF treasury; (4) Americans with Disabilities Act—FCC or Congress: Require IP-based providers to contribute to interstate relay funds. U.S. Department of Justice or Congress: Clarify that Web sites are covered under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act; and (5) Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act: Legislative Change—Expand Section 508’s coverage to entities that are otherwise covered under Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

2003

DeCarme, J., Glover, J., & Orkwis, R. (2003). Technology and Media Services. Discretionary Projects Supported by the Office of Special Education Programs under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Fiscal Year 2002.
ERIC #: ED475040
Available in full-text at: www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/contentdelivery/servlet/ERICServlet?accno=ED475040.
ABSTRACT: This book is the third of four volumes in a directory of more than 1,000 discretionary grants and contracts supported by the Research to Practice Division of the Office of Special Education Programs. This volume focuses on projects concerned with technology and media services. These projects are intended to: (1) support educational media activities designed to be of educational value to children with disabilities; (2) provide video description, open captioning, or closed captioning of television programs, videos, or educational materials; (3) distribute captioned and described videos or educational materials; (4) provide free educational materials, including textbooks, in accessible media for visually impaired and print-disabled students in schools at all levels; and (5) provide cultural experiences through appropriate nonprofit organizations, such as the National Theater of the Deaf. Projects are grouped within the specific programs and competitions under which they were funded. Provided for each listing is the following information: grant number, project title, project director, address and other contact information, beginning and ending dates, and an abstract presenting the projects intended purpose, method, and products. Four indexes are provided, including a project director index, an organization index, a state index, and a subject index.

2002

Schettler, J. (2002). Equal Access to All. Training, 39(1), 44-48.
ERIC #: EJ638639
ABSTRACT: Discusses the Section 508 amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that directs the use of technology. Describes guidelines for online training accessibility with which vendors hoping for government business must fully comply.

2001

DeCarme, J., Glover, J., & Orkwis, R. (2001). Discretionary Projects Supported by the Office of Special Education Programs under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Fiscal Year 2001: Technology and Media Services.
ERIC #: ED462773
Available in full-text at: www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/contentdelivery/servlet/ERICServlet?accno=ED462773.
ABSTRACT: This book is a directory that describes about 1,100 discretionary grants and contracts supported by the Research to Practice Division of the Office of Special Education Programs. The projects are grouped into sections representing the seven program areas of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Amendments (1997), Part D. This fourth volume of four describes projects concerned with technology and media services. These projects are intended to: (1) support educational media activities designed to be of educational value to children with disabilities; (2) provide video descriptions, open captioning, or closed captioning of television programs, videos, or educational materials; (3) distribute captioned videos or educational materials; (4) provide free educational materials, including textbooks, in accessible media for students who are visually impaired and print-disabled in elementary, secondary, postsecondary, and graduate schools; and (5) provide cultural experiences through appropriate nonprofit organizations, such as the National Theater of the Deaf. The projects are grouped by funding competitions and include grant number, title, project director, beginning and ending dates, and contact information. An abstract describes the project’s purpose, proposed method, and proposed products. Four indexes are provided: a project director index, an organization index, a state index, and a subject index.

2000

(2000). Federal Policy Barriers to Assistive Technology. National Council on Disability: Washington, D.C.
ERIC #: ED450518
Available in full-text at: www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/contentdelivery/servlet/ERICServlet?accno=ED450518.
ABSTRACT: This report identifies barriers in federal assistive technology (AT) policy to increasing the availability of and access to assistive technology devices and assistive technology services for people with disabilities. The report is the result of a review of the professional literature, a review of federal policies and two stakeholder surveys, one of over 2,000 consumers and one of providers, i.e., the directors of agencies that provide assistive technology, policy experts, and agencies that help people with disabilities obtain AT. One section provides a review of assistive technology policy in the fields of education, employment, health care, telecommunications and information technology, and alternative financing. The report identifies four major barriers: (1) awareness and expertise; (2) accessible product development and deployment; (3) comprehensive and coordinated funding; and (4) research, development, and technology transfer. Eleven recommendations are offered to address each of these barriers. Recommendations address the roles of the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, the roles of the Access Board and the General Services Administration, changes in copyright law, necessary changes in legal definitions, access to telephone service, loan programs, and needed research.

DeCarme, J., Glover, J., & Orkwis, R. (2000). Technology and Media Services. Discretionary Projects Supported by the Office of Special Education Programs under the Individuals with Disabilities Act, Fiscal Year 2000.
ERIC #: ED450510
Available in full-text at: www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/contentdelivery/servlet/ERICServlet?accno=ED450510.
ABSTRACT: This 5-volume directory describes more than 1,000 discretionary grants and contracts supported by the Research to Practice Division of the Office of Special Education Programs. The projects are grouped into sections representing the seven program areas of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments (1997), Part D. This volume, the fourth of the directory, describes projects concerned with technology and media services. These projects are intended to (1) support educational media activities designed to be of educational value to children with disabilities; (2) provide video descriptions, open captioning, or closed captioning of television programs, videos, or educational materials; (3) distribute captioned and described videos or educational materials; (4) provide free educational materials, including textbooks, in accessible media for visually impaired and print-disabled students in elementary, secondary, postsecondary, and graduate schools; and (5) provide cultural experiences through appropriate nonprofit organizations, such as the National Theater of the Deaf. The 148 projects are grouped by funding competitions and include grant number, title, project director, beginning and ending dates, and contact information. An abstract usually describes the project’s purpose, proposed method, and proposed products. Four indexes are provided: a project director index, an organization index, a state index, and a subject index.

1999

DeCarme, J., Glover, J., & Orkwis, R. (1999). Discretionary Projects Supported by the Office of Special Education Programs under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Fiscal Year 1999: Technology and Media Services.
ERIC #: ED437794
Available in full-text at: www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/contentdelivery/servlet/ERICServlet?accno=ED437794.
ABSTRACT: This directory is one of five which together describe almost 1200 discretionary grants and contracts currently supported by the Research to Practice Division of the Office of Special Education Programs under the 1997 Amendments to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This document covers grants and contracts in the program area of Technology and Media Services. The program descriptions are grouped by the 17 competitions under which they were funded, such as Closed-Captioned Sports Programs, Video Description, Steppingstones of Technology Innovation for Students with Disabilities, Closed-Captioned Television Programs—Local News and Public Information, and Cultural Experiences for Deaf or Hard of Hearing Individuals. Provided for each project description is the following information: grant number; project title; name of project director; contact information (organization, address, phone number, Fax number, e-mail address); the project’s purpose; the methodology; and proposed products. There are four indexes: a project director index, an organization index, a state index, and a subject index.

Wlodkowski, T. (1999). Making CD-ROM’s Multimedia Work for All Users. Computers in Libraries, 19(6), 62-64, 66.
ERIC #: EJ591543
ABSTRACT: Highlights multimedia CD-ROMs that can describe pictures aloud for blind users and turn sound into text for the deaf. Outlines barriers confronting blind users. Discusses software programs designed to significantly improve access to multimedia software for users with disabilities and presents evaluation criteria for purchasing the most accessible software.

1998

DeCarme, J., Glover, J., & Orkwis, R. (1998). Discretionary Projects Supported by the Office of Special Education Programs under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Fiscal Year 1998: Technology and Media Services.
ERIC #: ED426564
Available in full-text at: www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/contentdelivery/servlet/ERICServlet?accno=ED426564.
ABSTRACT: This five-volume directory describes almost 1,200 discretionary grants and contracts supported by the Research to Practice Division of the Office of Special Education Programs. The projects are grouped into five sections representing the seven program areas of the newly reauthorized IDEA, Part D. This volume, the fourth of the directory, describes projects concerning technology and media services. These projects are intended to: (1) support educational media activities that are designed to be of educational value to children with disabilities; (2) provide video description, open captioning, or closed captioning of television programs, videos, or educational materials; (3) distribute captioned and described videos or educational materials; (4) provide free educational materials, including textbooks, in accessible media for visually impaired and print-disabled students in elementary, secondary, postsecondary, and graduate schools; and (5) provide cultural experiences through appropriate nonprofit organizations. The projects are grouped by the competitions under which they were funded and include information on grant number, title, project director, beginning and ending dates, and contact information. An abstract describes the project’s purposes, proposed methods, and proposed products. Four indexes are provided: a project director index, an organizational index, a state index, and a subject index.

Documents from the National Library of Medicine PubMed search at www.pubmed.com are listed below:

2009

Jones, R. (2009). The role of health kiosks in 2009: Literature and informant review. International Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health, 6(6), 1818-55.
PMID #: 19578463
ABSTRACT: Kiosks can provide patients with access to health systems in public locations, but with increasing home Internet access their usefulness is questioned. A literature and informant review identified kiosks used for taking medical histories, health promotion, self assessment, consumer feedback, patient registration, patient access to records, and remote consultations. Sited correctly with good interfaces, kiosks can be used by all demographics but many ‘projects’ have failed to become routine practice. A role remains for: (a) integrated kiosks as part of patient ‘flow’, (b) opportunistic kiosks to catch people’s attention. Both require clear ‘ownership’ to succeed.

2004

Arditi, A. (2004). Adjustable typography: An approach to enhancing low vision text accessibility. Ergonomics, 47(5), 469-82.
PMID #: 15204299
ABSTRACT: Millions of people have low vision, a disability condition caused by uncorrectable or partially correctable disorders of the eye. The primary goal of low vision rehabilitation is increasing access to printed material. This paper describes how adjustable typography, a computer graphic approach to enhancing text accessibility, can play a role in this process, by allowing visually-impaired users to customize fonts to maximize legibility according to their own visual needs. Prototype software and initial testing of the concept is described. The results show that visually-impaired users tend to produce a variety of very distinct fonts, and that the adjustment process results in greatly enhanced legibility. But this initial testing has not yet demonstrated increases in legibility over and above the legibility of highly legible standard fonts such as Times New Roman.

Search Terms for Electronic and Information Technology Access

  • Access to Information
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About reSearch:

reSearch is a new information product from the National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC). Each issue is based on real-world queries received by our information specialists from researchers, educators, and rehabilitation professionals around the world.

We search several sources both in-house and online, to fill these requests including:

We hope you find these reSearch briefs informative in your own research.

- NARIC Information and Media Team



 
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