U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Initiative ~ Executive Order ~ HHS Role ~ News & Additional Resources
Delivering on the Promise: Preliminary Report
Transmittal Memo [DOC = 28K]; Cover: PDF = 203K
Table of Contents [Complete Report: HTML = 154K, DOC = 535K]
Health Care |
Personal Support |
Technology Access |
Income Supports |
Data Use |
Executive Order 13217:
The Initiative |
Public Input |
Summary of Initiatives |
Input Entities |
Federal Register Notice
- Federal Agency Actions to Eliminate Barriers and Promote Community Integration
Access To Technology
Access to technology is an essential component of ensuring that people with disabilities are able to be a part of the community and are not placed unnecessarily in institutions like nursing homes, hospitals, and other segregated settings. Assistive devices and universal design concepts provide a means by which people with disabilities may live independently or reduce their need for assistance services. Technology also provides a gateway to a wealth of information about employment opportunities, community events, and educational forums, and has fundamentally changed the workplace and the requisite skills and knowledge needed to fully participate in the 21st century workplace.
While the accelerated development and use of electronic and information technologies in the home, school, and workplace appears to offer seemingly endless possibilities, it also has the potential to create new challenges. Technology can be a great equalizer, but it also has the capacity to further divide the class of citizens with significant disabilities who are neither computer literate nor connected to information.
The New Freedom Initiative promises to level the playing field by ensuring that Americans with disabilities have affordable access to the best technologies of today and that even better technologies are available in the future. In order for people with disabilities to maximize the opportunities that technology presents, it is also imperative that adequate training and skills development be provided. The following actions are planned to ensure that people with disabilities affected by the Olmstead ruling have access to technology and the ability to use it:
Department of Labor
- The DOL Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) will work with the ED, HHS, the Department of Agriculture (USDA), and other agencies and departments, as appropriate, to coordinate and implement a plan that improves the availability, affordability, and accessibility of technology in the school, home, and workplace for youth and adults with significant disabilities.
- ODEP will expand its DisAbilityDirect.gov web site to better serve the employment-related needs of people with disabilities. This interagency portal will give employment information and links; provide educational and life-long learning opportunities for people with disabilities, employers, organizations, and other interested people; and aggregate federal resources providing access to assistive and universally based technologies.
- ODEP will work with other DOL agencies to expand opportunities in the critical high-tech area for young people and adults with significant disabilities, and to provide information and technical assistance to employers about the benefits of hiring people with disabilities as employees.
Department of Education
- The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) will establish and implement innovative programs and policies that lead to greater access to assistive technology, employment, and transportation through increased interagency workgroups and rehabilitation research.
Department of Health and Human Services
- HHS will work with other federal agencies to devise and carry out activities regarding assistive technology through the work of the Interagency Council on Community Living.
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Last revised: April 9, 2002