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AAIDD Endorses the Declaration on Technology and Information Access

Washington, DC: October 2, 2013

A formal Declaration on the equal rights of people with cognitive disabilities to technology and information access was officially unveiled today at the Thirteenth Annual Coleman Institute National Conference on Cognitive Disability and Technology, in Broomfield, Colorado.

AAIDD joins the Coleman Institute, The Arc of the United States, the American Network of Community Options and Resource (ANCOR), and others in endorsing the statement of principles on the rights of all people to inclusion and choice in relation to technology and information access, entitled The Rights of People with Cognitive Disabilities to Technology and Information Access.

“Cognitive disabilities” include intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorders, severe and persistent mental illness, brain injury, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. People with cognitive disabilities are estimated to comprise over 60% of the world’s total population of people with disabilities.

David Braddock, Professor and Executive Director of the Coleman Institute, remarked,

The formal Declaration is being presented at a time when the pace of the digital age is accelerating rapidly. Access to technology and information access is essential for community and social participation, employment, education, health, and general communication. Advocates for people with cognitive disabilities may use this declaration to stimulate greater attention nationally and worldwide to the possibilities now at hand for people with cognitive disabilities through technology while championing their rights as citizens to access to it.

"The time has come to move away from relying on after-market 'retrofiting' to assure technology access for people with intellectual disability," said Margaret Nygren, Executive Director & CEO of AAIDD, "it is time  to raise expecations on the use of and access to off-the-shelf technologies by people with disabilities."

To read the complete declaration and to personally endorse it, visit the Coleman Institute website at

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