The Center for An Accessible Society Disability Issues Information







People with disabilities still lag on Internet usage
Note to readers: links to news articles may not work after a few weeks, as news media remove current stories to their archives. The link may take you to the archives section, where, for a fee, you can view the article.

Jan. 22, 2002 -- A Harris poll released last week noted that people with disabilities still lag behind other Americans in use of the Internet -- but they're catching up. "In 2001, about 38 percent of adults with disabilities used the Internet at home, more than five times the seven percent who were online in late 1998. Over the same period, use among the non-disabled doubled from 26 to 56 percent," says the National Organization on Disability, who commissioned the survey.

Among those with disabilities, people with vision or hearing disabilities were most likely to use the Internet at home (43 percent), followed by people with learning or cognitive disabilities (39 percent), and people with mobility and movement impairments (35 percent), the survey found. If its growth among people with disabilities continues at the current rate, Internet usage among people with disabilities "should match the rate of other users in a few years," said N.O.D. Senior Research Advisor Gerry Hendershot, Ph.D. More on the survey can be found on their website at

The NOD-commissioned survey is not the first to find Internet use lagging among people with disabilities. In a March, 2000 report, Stephen Kaye, Ph.D. of the NIDRR-funded Disability Statistics Center, found that Americans with disabilities were less than half as likely as their non-disabled counterparts to own a computer, and only about one-quarter as likely to use the Internet. More about this "digital divide," including a link to Dr. Kaye's report, can be found at the Center for an Accessible Society website at

Perhaps part of the reason usage is catching up is because of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (read about this at Companies are finding that accessible websites are "cost-effective and generally good business," wrote Wired's Karen Solomon. Read her article online at,1294,39563,00.html

More E-Letters



About The Center for An Accessible Society