Declaration Update by David Braddock

Dr. David Braddock
David Braddock
The Rights of People with Cognitive Disabilities to Technology and Information Access is a statement of principles launched in October 2013 at the annual conference of the Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities. The Declaration News is where you can learn about thoughts and dissemination activities of the organizing group who crafted The Declaration and who are actively promoting its dissemination. This is part of ongoing advocacy efforts for inclusion of people with cognitive disabilities. Over the next few months, thoughts and comments will be posted in this section of the website, with all posts remaining visible as each new post is added.

If you haven't already done so, endorse The Declaration. Read the article about The Declaration, published in Inclusion, the on-line journal of The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD). Learn about the rationale for it, why it is important that we act now, and the impact The Declaration can have on the quality of life for people with cognitive disabilities, their families and caregivers.

Prior to launch, major national disability organizations endorsed The Declaration including AAIDD, The Arc, ANCOR, and such self-advocacy organizations as Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered and the Sibling Leadership Network. At last count, nearly 150 national, state and local organization have signed on as well as countless individual signatories.

The Declaration addresses today's reality as information and communication technologies are ubiquitous and have become valuable tools for billions of people worldwide. Yet people with cognitive disabilities, particularly individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, have limited access to such technologies. For the 28 million people in the US with cognitive disabilities, the disruptive convergence of computing and communication hardware and software has substantially created barriers to engaging meaningfully in education, health promotion, employment, recreation and civic participation.

The Rights of People with Cognitive Disabilities to Technology and Information Access is a call for action. It builds on the history of community integration for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities now established in law, policy and practice and through decades of advocacy by parents, people with disabilities themselves, and conscientious professionals in the field. Articulating and advancing The Rights of People with Cognitive Disabilities to Technology and Information Access is the natural extension of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the DD Act, IDEA, section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and all other federal, state and local laws to assure that people with cognitive disabilities are entitled to technology and information access and full inclusion in our democratic society.

Endorse The Declaration. Be informed. Spread the word.

— David Braddock