Leveling the Playing Field: Improving Technology Access and Design for People with Intellectual Disabilities

Yesterday, the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID) published its 2015 Report to the President titled Leveling the Playing Field: Improving Technology Access and Design for People with Intellectual Disabilities. The report describes the critical and increasing role of technology in enabling individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) to have greater control over their own lives and to experience the full benefits of citizenship.

The primary goals of the report’s recommendations are:

  • To make technology more usable, or cognitively accessible, for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities through increased federal research, and by incentivizing product developers in the tech industry to create technology that expands the independence and participation of people with ID in everyday living situations
  • To strengthen federal policies to ensure that people with ID have equal access to everyday technology
  • To increase the availability, quality and affordability of cognitive support technologies through policies, practices, development, and research.

The report contains federal policy recommendations, with immediate priority given to the focus areas of Elementary, Secondary, and Post-Secondary Education; Community Living; Employment and Economic Well-Being; and Health and Wellness.

PCPID serves in an advisory capacity to the President of the United States and the Secretary of Health and Human Services on matters related to individuals with ID. The committee includes representatives from several federal agencies and 18 private citizens, who work to promote policies and initiatives that support independence and lifelong inclusion of people with ID in their communities.

Click the image below to read the report or follow this link: Report to the President Leveling the Playing Field: Improving Technology Access and Design for People with Intellectual Disabilities 

Graphic: Screenshot of the 2015 Report to the President Leveling the Playing Field: Improving Technology Access and Design for People with Intellectual Disabilities



Rachel is the Media & Design Specialist on the Family to Family team at the UMKC-Institute for Human Development, UCEDD. She completed her Master’s in Public Administration with an emphasis in nonprofit management at UMKC. She is proud to say she is a second generation AmeriCorps member! Her passion is where social justice and technology meet. Her specialty is making projects, programs, and organizations look good.

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