University of Maryland

Accessibility Research Informing Policy and Law

Successful access to digital technologies and content for people with disabilities requires multiple fronts to be successful. Users need to have the right tools and the right training on these tools, and digital content must be designed flexibly so that they interact successfully with these tools such as assistive technologies. One aspect of this that is often overlooked is the need for effective, research-based policies and laws. Scientists and engineers can create technical solutions for improving access to technologies and content for people with disabilities, but often, laws and policies are the driving force behind implementation and real-world improvements in the lives of people with disabilities.

Even with existing technical solutions and clear market and financial opportunities, often companies and other for-profit and non-profit organizations fail to provide digital accessibility, blocking people with disabilities out of opportunities in the educational, employment, commerce, and socialization realms. Effective policies and laws can bridge this gap, prioritizing and requiring digital accessibility so that people with disabilities can become full and effective members of society. We believe that we can increase the impact of our MIDA work, by engaging directly with policymakers and legal advocates to help ensure that the best research and education work is informing policy and law. Our policy and law-related work is two-fold: we do research which is aimed at understanding the policy and law realm, and we also respond directly to regulatory rulemaking and requests for legislative testimony at the state and federal level.

Project Team

Rachael L. Bradley-Montgomery, Stephanie Cork, Ursula Gorham-Oscilowski, Paul Jaeger, J Bern Jordan, Jonathan Lazar, Emily Singer Lucio, Ron Padrón, Victoria Van Hyning

Testimony and Regulatory Rulemaking

Research Publications