Technology and Disability Policy Highlights - Summer 2020

Date of Publication: 
2020 August

This summer, the country celebrated the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in July. The ADA was signed on July 26, 1990, so this year the legislation hit the big 3-0, which in humans typically signifies a turning point into true adulthood where grand change occurs as a result of assessing the journey to 30. Perhaps, we'll observe similarly expansive impacts as the ADA turns the corner to 30. Though large gatherings are still discouraged, advocates and members of the disability community virtually celebrated the 30th anniversary. On social media, the National Council on Disability is commemorating the momentous occasion with a social media campaign called #30onADA30. The hashtag signifies a six-month campaign where participants are encouraged to share 30 words or less (or 30 seconds of audio/video) communicating their support and appreciation of the ADA. See one here,

In the regulatory space, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a Public Notice requesting stakeholder input on the tentative findings for the 2020 Biennial Report on Accessibility Under the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act [CG Docket No. 20-768]. The FCC sought further comments "on whether these tentative findings accurately represent the current state of accessibility and usability of telecommunications equipment and services." Outside of rulemakings, there are other methods of contributing to the advancement of inclusive policies. To that end, the FCC is now accepting applications for its Disability Advisory Committee.

In Wireless RERC news, our User Experiences and Expectations project published Technology Use for Social Connectedness: Exploring the Experiences of People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Family Members, and Professionals. Georgia Tech's Center for Advanced Communications Policy, and the home of the Wireless RERC, is currently seeking any U.S. residents aged 65 or older AND adults with disabilities (any age 18 and up) to take a survey of COVID-19 Information Access. We also continue data collection for our 2020 Survey of User Needs. If you haven't already, please take the survey

This issue also includes news about accessibility in emergency services, broadband, telehealth, developer tools, assistive technologies, wearables, eye-tracking tech, smart cities, and more.


The contents of this website were developed under a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant number 90RE5025-01-00). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this website do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.