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Who’s in Charge? Information Technology and Disability Justice in the United States

Amelia Gibson, Rua Williams
January 25, 2022

Who’s in Charge? Information Technology and Disability Justice in the United States

Amelia Gibson, Rua Williams
January 25, 2022

ABSTRACT

Disabled people in the United States are surrounded by, defined by, and, to some degree, controlled by data, technology, and information– from medical technology and therapies to educational systems, to social and government services and policies that shape their lives. The degree to which they can access and use technologies to accomplish their own goals is less clear. This review examines discussions related to data and technology access for people with disabilities, both through a review of recent statistical and demographic data, and examination of digital transinstitutionalization–the extension of institutional frameworks (surveillance and control) from state hospitals into community settings via data-driven technologies. The review amplifies academic scholarship and public discussion around disability access and accessibility and complicates the idea that disabled people truly have “access” to technology in contexts where they do not control technology, such as healthcare, “smart” homes and communities, and the workplace. Whenever possible, this work amplifies the work of openly disabled researchers, authors, thinkers, and advocates across multiple fields who write and work in this space.

 This field review is forthcoming.