Speed matters to the American Association of People with Disabilities
Over 50 million Americans are reported to have some kind of disability according to the 2008 U.S. Census.
As the Senior Director for Telecommunications and Technology Policy for the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), I strive to make the lives of these Americans better.
We at the AAPD are glad to partner with Speed Matters to raise awareness about how broadband can improve the lives of disabled persons. The Speed Matters Benefits section enumerates the many ways in which broadband enables people with disabilities and can provide opportunities for independence. These benefits include but are not limited to:
- Live streaming video and instant text communication liberate people who are deaf, or hard of hearing, and those with speech disabilities, from dependency on the phone.
- High speed Internet makes new services available to people with physical disabilities, such as attending classes remotely, online medical consultations with far away specialists, or applying for and securing jobs, eliminating the need for unnecessary or difficult commutes or trips.
- Programs that read text and describe visual contents aloud in a synthetic voice or a Braille display enable people who are blind or visually impaired to search the Internet, understand videos, and communicate online.
- For persons with certain mental conditions or learning disabilities, slow download speeds discourage Internet use.
- Video relay services (VRS), which require high speed Internet to run, allow people who are deaf to have phone conversations in their native sign language by means of an online interpreter.
Currently, studies show that disabled people use the Internet only half as much as those without disabilities. In partnering with Speed Matters, we seek to ensure that broadband service is not only affordable, but also accessible and usable for all Americans - including those with disabilities.
Find out more about how broadband can help Americans with disabilities by downloading this Fact Sheet. To help AAPD and Speed Matters work toward enabling citizens with disabilities, spread the word today.
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