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Centering Disability in Technology Policy: New Report from CDT and American Association of People with Disabilities

(WASHINGTON)– Today, The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) released Centering Disability in Technology Policy, a report highlighting the ways in which technology can discriminate against disabled people – and what advocacy groups, regulators, and funders can do to change this. 

“In order for technology to create potential for equitable opportunity and improved quality of life for disabled people , technology policy must seek to understand, and meaningfully center, the disability experience,” said Maria Town, President and CEO of AAPD. “Disability organizations and public interest technology groups working together to build shared expertise is vital to achieving this goal.”

Alexandra Reeve Givens, President and CEO of CDT, said, “We are at an important inflection point understanding the impact technology has on society – from limiting people’s privacy, to how they access information, to how inferences made about them may impact their ability to get credit, housing, or a job. The active public debate about technology must do a better job addressing the perspectives of people with disabilities. Our report highlights the opportunities for engagement, and the important work to be done.”

The report makes a number of recommendations for tech organizations, public interest groups, or anyone with an interest in using technology to meaningfully improve peoples’ lives. It covers a wide range of topics, including digital accessibility practices, equitable employment and education access, data privacy, online hate and harassment, law enforcement surveillance, algorithmic bias, and more. 


The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) is a convener, connector, and catalyst for change, increasing the political and economic power of people with disabilities. As a national cross-disability rights organization, AAPD advocates for full civil rights for the over 61 million Americans with disabilities by promoting equal opportunity, economic power, independent living, and political participation. To learn more, visit the AAPD Web site:

The Center for Democracy & Technology is a 25-year old 501(c)(3) working to promote civil rights and civil liberties in the digital age. Based in Washington, D.C. and Brussels, Belgium, CDT works inclusively across sectors to find tangible solutions to today’s most pressing technology policy challenges. Our team of experts includes lawyers, technologists, academics, and analysts, bringing diverse perspectives to all of our efforts.