Mobile Future

Closing the Digital Divide for Those with Disabilities

New White Paper Discusses Vital Impact of Wireless Technology for People with Disabilities

(Washington, DC)—Today, Mobile Future, a non-profit and non-partisan wireless coalition, released a white paper assessing the role of mobile and wireless technologies in creating opportunities for the 54 million Americans with disabilities.

Entitled “Mobile Ability: The Transformational Impact of Wireless Innovation for People with Disabilities,” the paper examines the progress being made through advancements in mobile devices and services to enhance quality of life and inclusiveness for Americans with disabilities. For many Americans, today’s fast-emerging combination of robust hardware, state-of-the-art wireless networks and innovative, diverse applications can allow devices to achieve impressive levels of personal customization that can be tailored to meet any individual’s unique needs and preferences.

This intersection of mobile innovation and broadband technologies unleashes tremendous opportunity for people with disabilities in the areas of employment, health care, education and emergency response. The paper also explores next generation technologies and the future of mobile innovation in this area.

“From the hearing impaired to those living with a cognitive disability, mobile services, technologies and products are fundamentally transforming how people with disabilities engage the world,” said Mobile Future Chairman Jonathan Spalter. “As the FCC moves forward with the National Broadband Plan, it is important to reflect on how advances in wireless technology are empowering Americans across our nation and how maintaining a balanced regulatory approach that continues to encourage the public and private sector to work together collaboratively will help unleash powerful new cycles of innovation to advance an inclusive and accessible connected nation.”

The report points to several key areas where policymakers can make a difference. The most pressing need is to free up more spectrum to accommodate growing demand. Other recommendations include removing economic barriers like high taxes and fees on communications services; leading by example by expanding online footprints for government agencies and making resources more accessible to mobile users; encouraging collaboration between innovators and the disability community; and supporting efforts to modernize local 911 infrastructure.

To read the full report visit http://www.mobilefuture.org/MobileAbility