People Living with Disabilities are Aware of Assistive Technologies but Have Issues Using Them Successfully

More than 1 in 10 Scientific Residential Survey respondents identified as living with a disability or indicated that someone in their household lived with a disability. This group was similar to overall respondents in their high rating of the internet as an essential utility, and that free publicly accessible WiFi is very important.

In the Online Public Survey, more than 1 in 5 respondents indicated that they or a household member lived with a disability. When asked what communications technology assistive devices they consider of critical importance they indicated access to high speed internet as the number on priority at 82%, followed by devices and applications (cellphones, smartphones and apps) at 80% and tablets/computers  at 67%. Other devices and applications were listed as well, including: captioning, optical character recognition (OCR), Bluetooth-connected devices, smart watches and other devices.

When asked what frustrations they had in using communications technology, including both assistive and non-assistive devices, the number one frustration was with high prices and cost. Other frustrations included robocalls, keeping up with changing technologies, information hackers and the lack of inclusion of assistive technologies in devices and apps.