Disability Rights and Communications Technology

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has been a groundbreaking law which has had a tremendous impact on the society as a whole. The act was passed in 1990 and prohibits discrimination of people with disabilities, while at the same time, ensuring equal opportunities in employment, government services, commercial facilities and public transportation.

Since the ADA enactment, the Congress and the Federal Communications Commission have ensured that latest technological developments happen according to the spirit of law. For instance, the 1996 Telecommunications Act mandates manufacturers of telecom equipment and service providers to ensure that both can be availed and used by people with disabilities. The FCC’s communication technology guidelines must be followed by all.

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That aside, the ADA has forged other positive indirect effects. Entrepreneurship and broadband internet are now inextricably linked. They have brought a higher rate of self-employment for persons with disabilities. High-capacity wireless and wired networks deliver content and other digital applications through a wide range of devices. This has been of a major help to those who have auditory, visual, and motor disabilities to carry out a full range of activities, sans leaving their home.

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Communications technology has lent a forward stride to the US economy since it has enhanced the overall productivity of the country’s workforce. People with disabilities are increasingly using communications technology to become financially independent and contribute to the country’s economic progress.

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