Report back from the technology and disability workshop

On October 2, 2009, we co-sponsored a Technology & Disability in the Developing World workshop to initiate a multi-stakeholder dialogue on accessible technology and employability in low-income regions.

The workshop was divided into four sessions — policy, social research, technology, design — and discussions focused on key topics within each domain. These included:

  • Policy — Broader constitutional and international law issues governing access to technology for people with disabilities
  • Social research — The placement of disability within the broader discourse of technology; social issues around employability through technology for people with disabilities
  • Technology — Challenges in low-cost vision, speech, and prosthetics technology
  • Design — Interface and technology adoption issues on computers and mobile devices for people with disabilities

The broader goal of the workshop was to build interest by bringing together researchers from various academic and industry groups to craft an agenda for future work.

Workshop participants represented the University of California at Berkeley, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Northwestern University, University of Leeds, University of Rochester, Intel Research, Microsoft, Starbucks, Yahoo, Benetech , and the Organization of American States (OAS), in addition to independent researchers from the library and medical professions.

Video transcripts with closed captioning will be available on the Change website.