Disability and technology: building barriers or creating opportunities?

Peter Gregor, David Sloan, Alan F. Newell

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    35 Citations (Scopus)


    In this chapter, the authors explore the relationship of technology to disability, and how technology can be both a source of liberation and an agent of exclusion for disabled people. The impact of the 'digital divide' on people with specific access needs, is examined and discussed, while the physical, cognitive and environmental factors that can contribute to exclusion as a result of technology design and implementation are examined in some depth. Demographic, moral and economic reasons as to why all those involved in the development of technology should take accessibility seriously are presented, while drivers for inclusive design-legislative, technical and economic-are discussed. A review of accessible and inclusive design practice, and the kinds of support that are available from a wide variety of sources for inclusive design is presented-showing that there are ways to minimize exclusion and to promote access. Finally, in looking towards a world where the true potential of technology to enhance the lives of disabled people can be fully reached, an overview is provided of research and development in supporting inclusive design, along with those challenges that remain to be overcome.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationAdvances in Computers
    PublisherAcademic Press
    Number of pages64
    ISBN (Print)9780120121649
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


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