Bruce P. Mehlman
The Internet Innovation Alliance is a broad-based coalition of business and non-profit organizations that aim to ensure every American, regardless of race, income or geography, has access to the critical tool that is broadband Internet. The IIA seeks to promote public policies that support equal opportunity for universal broadband availability and adoption so that everyone, everywhere can seize the benefits of the Internet - from education to health care, employment to community building, civic engagement and beyond.
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A number of recent surveys have found that well over 80 percent of people with disabilities who are online use the Internet to send and receive emails.
According to one study, less than a third of people with disabilities – 24 percent – had adopted broadband by 2008.
Indeed, a 2003 study found that 21 percent of people with disabilities remained offline because they thought it was confusing and hard to use.
In 2008, slightly more than half of people with disabilities – 51 percent – reported having a computer at home.
By 2006, the number of people with disabilities who had a home computer had risen substantially, to nearly 40 percent, but this number was still lower than that for people without disabilities.
A recent series of Pew studies found that only three percent of all non-Internet users reported being “physically unable” to use these types of technologies, 54 whereas 22 percent of non-users responded that they were not interested in getting online.
A 2000 study found that only 24 percent of people with disabilities had a computer at home, compared to nearly 52 percent for people without a disability.
People with disabilities (15 percent of U.S. adults) can benefit greatly from increased adoption and use of broadband connectivity and services.
Litan found that broadband deployment and use lowered medical costs and institutionalized living, while increasing labor force participation for seniors and individuals with disabilities.
All told, Litan estimated the cumulative benefit to be at least $927 billion over a 25-year period (with future benefits discounted in 2005 dollars). (p. 21)
HCSIS has helped to reduce the use of unnecessary restraints, provide better financial accountability and improve the quality of life for Pennsylvanians with disabilities.
It also has saved the state more than $54 million, about 13,000 hours a year for the state’s central office, and about 79,000 hours a year for county programs.