Individuals with Disabilities

States Work to Make Digital Services Accessible for All

People with disabilities regularly face accessibility challenges while using government websites. Solving these challenges has become more urgent, for two reasons. First, COVID-19 pushed more of life online, and it is often easier now to do business digitally than in person. Second, the U.S.

FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel's Remarks to National Association of the Deaf

On July 3, Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel spoke at the National Association of the Deaf Conference in Chicago (IL) about the ways "digital technologies can improve the lives of people with disabilities," and about some of the work the FCC has done to improve accessibility for people with disabilities. "Two weeks from now, the FCC will vote on a new proposal to improve video programming accessibility for individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing.

Wanna Get An A+ On BEAD? Unit-Level Connectivity For MDUs Is A Must

The Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Notice Of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) outlines specific requirements for states and subgrant recipients to ensure they provide comprehensive broadband service. Specifically, the Program “prioritizes projects designed to provide fiber connectivity directly to the end user.” Providing reliable, high-speed internet to every unit within a multi-dwelling unit (MDU) is implicitly required to meet the goals of the BEAD program.

Biden-Harris Administration Awards $9 Million to Nevada to Advance Digital Inclusion Efforts

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) awarded more than $9 million to Nevada to implement its Digital Equity Plan.

North Carolina Communities Awarded $30 Million to Help Close the Digital Divide

Across North Carolina, 63 community service, nonprofit, higher education and regional organizations will get $30 million in Digital Champion grants to help North Carolinians access and use high-speed internet.

Biden-Harris Administration Approves Colorado and New Hampshire’s “Internet for All” Initial Proposals

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has approved Colorado and New Hampshire’s Initial Proposals for the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program, a cornerstone of the Biden-Harris Administration’s “Internet for All” initiative. This approval enables Colorado and New Hampshire to request access to funding and begin implementation of the BEAD program—a major step towards closing the digital divide and meeting the President’s goal of connecting everyone in America with affordable, reliable, high-speed Internet service.

Digital Equity Competitive Grant Program: What We Know and What’s to Come

The release of the State Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) on March 29th triggered the countdown for the Digital Equity Competitive Grant Program. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) mandates releasing the Competitive Grant NOFO within 30 days of the first Capacity award, so we expect it by late summer/early fall 2024. We will not know all the specifics until the NOFO is released.

Digital and Educational Equity: How States Plan to Partner with Educational Institutions

Digital equity cannot be fully realized without the participation of educational institutions, including K-12 public schools, community colleges, historically black and other minority serving colleges and universities, and extension programs. Many state digital equity plans embrace education and potential collaborations with educational institutions. All states acknowledge that digital equity is critical to education.

NDIA Continues to Fight for Rigorous Digital Discrimination Rules

The National Digital Inclusion Alliance has warned policymakers about digital redlining, a discriminatory practice that prevents certain populations from having internet access, since 2017. Thanks in part to these warnings and advocacy efforts, the creation of digital discrimination rules was mandated in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Pillars, Policies, And Plausible Pathways Linking Digital Inclusion And Health Equity

Digital inclusion is considered a super social determinant of health and rests on four pillars: available and affordable broadband service, quality devices, digital skills and training, and technical support for using accessible applications. Evidence suggests two pathways through which digital inclusion and health equity are connected. The direct pathway is through increasing access to health care services.