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This report discusses the growth of the National Information Infrastructure (NII), or the information superhighway, and its implications for people with disabilities. Advantages for people with disabilities include: increasing the ability of individuals with some types of disabilities to access and use information; decreasing personal isolation due to mobility and communication restrictions; allowing individuals to interact with others in a way that makes their disability invisible or irrelevant; and allowing convenient access to educational and medical services. The barriers to the NII include: socioeconomic barriers; the complexity in the design of many products; the use of graphic interfaces; the use of touchscreens and pointing interfaces where alternate input techniques are not available; virtual environments; sound; animation and interactive systems; and the sealed nature of public systems that must have built-in access accommodations if they are to be made accessible. The report makes recommendations on how facets of the NII can be modified to allow greater access by those with disabilities and strategies that can be used to achieve changes. A list of 17 additional readings is included. An appendix describes the mission of the National Council on Disability. (CR)

Descriptors: Access to Information, Accessibility (for Disabled), Change Strategies, Computer Networks, Disabilities, Information Networks, Information Sources, Information Technology, Internet, Technological Advancement

U.S. Government Printing Office, Superintendent of Documents, Mail Stop: SSOP, Washington, DC 20402-9328.

Autor: National Council on Disability, Washington, DC.


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