Links & Books


Language and Etiquette

Disability Etiquette: Disability Access Resource List
The National Organization on Disability reports that more than 54 million Americans have a disability. This online booklet, available in HTML or PDF format, is for anyone -- with or without a disability -- who wants to interact more genuinely and effectively with people with disabilities.

ENC Online: Disability Language and Etiquette
Karen Ozmun gives tips on language and behavior that preserve the dignity of people with disabilities and avoid perpetuating negative stereotypes and attitudes.

Office Survival: The Disability Handbook
This site provides advice and information about working with people with disabilities, including sections on interviewing, reception, conversation, and service dog etiquette.

People First Language
Are you myopic or do you wear glasses? Are you cancerous or do you have cancer? Are you handicapped or do you have a disability? People First Language describes what a person has, not what a person is, in order to put the person before the disability.

Assistive Technology

Abledata provides the latest news and information on assistive technology and rehabilitation equipment. At their Web site find product information and reviews and information about standard and cutting-edge assistive technologies for people with a variety of disabilities.

Alliance for Technology Access
The Alliance for Technology Access is a network of community-based resource centers, developers, vendors, and associates who provide information and support to help children and adults with disabilities increase their use of standard, assistive, and information technologies. The Web site includes helpful FAQs and a useful assessment and information tool, "An Introduction to Creating Access for People with Disabilities in Community-Based Organizations."
This resource for assistive technology links consumers and producers of assistive technology and has a wide variety of disability related information. Their searchable database is designed to help consumers find assistive technologies that meet their needs and budget.

Closing the Gap
Closing The Gap, Inc. is an organization that focuses on computer technology for people with special needs through its bi-monthly newspaper, annual international conference and extensive web site. At the site, you'll find forums, answers to frequently asked questions about computer technologies that assist people with disabilities, and a resource directory for bringing these technologies to your school or area.

Disability Vote Project
This site pushes for meaningful election reform and advocates for more accessible voting machinery. At their Web site, register to vote and explore some of the technologies that have emerged in the rush to give Americans with disabilities their full voting rights before Election Day.

The Trace Center
The Trace Center at the University of Wisconsin at Madison works to develop techologies that make the modern world more accessible to people with disabilities. See especially their section on computer access, where you can download software to help people with sensory and physical disabilities.

Wheelchair Junkie
Mark E. Smith's site,, is a no-holds-barred site with product reviews of many different wheelchair models by users and other information to help select a new wheelchair or upgrade your old one.

Organizations of Note

Alliance for Public Technology
The Alliance for Public Technology fosters public policy that ensures access to advanced technologies and their life-enhancing benefits for all Americans, regardless of income, age, ethnicity, location, or functional limitation.

American Association of People with Disabilities
The largest cross-disability membership organization in the U.S., AAPD promotes political and economic empowerment for the more than 56 million American children and adults with disabilities. AAPD's work includes leadership development, mentoring and career exploration programs, voter registration and get-out-the-vote efforts, and public policy advocacy and research.

Assistive Techology Industry Association
The mission of Assistive Technology Industry Association is to serve as the collective voice of the Assistive Technology industry so that the best products and services are delivered to people with disabilities. ATIA represents the interests of its members to business, government, education, and the many agencies that serve people with disabilities.

Easter Seals
Easter Seals provides services to children and adults with disabilities and other special needs, and support to their families. Their Web site fulfills this mission by connecting people with disabilities to job opportunities, pertinent legislative information, and other resources.

Freedom Machines Project
The site for the Freedom Machines project contains background information on the project and important links to resources.

Independent Living Institute
The Independent Living Institute offers resources for persons with extensive disabilities and develops consumer-driven policies for self-determination, self-respect and dignity. Access their virtual library, interactive services, and global networking tools at their Web site.

National Center for Disability Services
The National Center for Disability Services is a non-profit agency dedicated to empowering people with disabilities to be active and independent participants in society. The NCDS was originally founded in 1952 as Abilities, Inc., a manufacturing company which was staffed primarily by World War II veterans. Among its current programs is the Nathaniel H. Kornreich Technology Center, an assistive technology demonstration, education, and evaluation center.

National Organization on Disability
The mission of the National Organization on Disability (N.O.D.) is to expand the participation and contribution of people with disabilities in all aspects of life. Site contains information for people with disabilities about finding jobs, using transportation, and community involvement. There are also sections of the site for business and community leaders.

World Institute on Disability
The World Institute on Disability is a nonprofit research, training, and public policy center promoting the civil rights and the full societal inclusion of people with disabilities.

Legal Information

ADA Home Page
The Web site of the Americans with Disabilities Act answers common questions about the rights of the disabled and connects users to investigative agencies that serve the disabled. Also, find out information about how the ADA affects the operation of other federal agencies, such as the Department of Transportation and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Assistive Technology Act of 1998
Read the provisions of this law, which provides for the operation of assistive technology programs in each state and territory and for other activities designed to increase awareness, availability, and use of assistive technology by people with disabilities throughout their life span.

Disability Info is the U.S. government's online gateway to the federal government's disability-related information and resources. This easy-to-use Web portal is a directory of government Web links relevant to people with disabilities, their families, employers, service providers and other community members.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
The EEOC offers technical assistance on the ADA provisions applying to employment and information on how to file ADA complaints. At their Web site, research past cases and find out about your rights to equal consideration by employers.

Fair Housing Act
The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing on the basis of race, color, religion, sex national origin, age, disability, and familial status. See especially their page for people with disabilities, which answers frequently asked questions about the housing rights of people with disabilities.

Federal Communications Commission: Disabilities
The Disability Issues Homepage features information and resources on disability-related news that related to the FCC. Some of the site's services include information about the Telephone Relay Service, which permits people who are not hearing impaired to talk to those with hearing disabilities, and Closed Captioning, which ensures that more television is made accessible.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
Read the text of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), signed into law by President Clinton in June 1997, which mandates how states and school districts provied special education and related services to children with disabilities.

Project ACTION
Funded by the Department of Transportation, Project Action's mission is to provide information about making transportation accessible and to advocate for accessibility in transportation.

U.S. Access Board
A Federal Agency committed to accessible design for people with disabilities, the U.S. Access Board Web site reports on the latest accessibility guidelines and standards, ensures compliance and enforcement, and contains information about technical assistance, training, and research programs.

Also on PBS and NPR Websites

Innovation: Life, Inspired -- Human Body Shop
In medical research facilities all over the world, engineers and doctors are hard at work to make once debilitating conditions a thing of the past. From the most sophisticated metal leg prostheses to jaw-dropping artificial vision systems and astonishing advances in the translation of brain signals, this site explores the complex and futuristic world that is melding human and machine. (February 2004)

Misunderstood Minds
This site, which accompanies a PBS special on learning differences and disabilities, explores stories from the show and provides information and resources for those who want to learn more about disabilities in attention, reading, writing, and mathematics. (2002)

PBS Parents: Inclusive Communities
Learn about improving the overall quality of life for children with or without disabilities by promoting inclusion and respect for differences. The resources on this Web site help parents and caregivers create more inclusive communities.

Sound and Fury
This fabulous website allows the users to experiment with the experience of the deafness and a controversial new technology, the cochlear implant, which transmits sound waves to the auditory nerve, allowing a deaf person to 'hear.' What does the device mean for a person's sense of identity with deaf culture? (2001)

NPR Stories

All Things Considered: Defending the Mentally Disabled
NPR's All Things Considered profiles advocate Bob Perske, who has devoted his life to showing how the criminal justice system is unfair to those with disabilities, often convicting mentally impaired people of crimes they did not commit. The site includes articles Perske has written on the subject.

All Things Considered: FDA Approves 'SUV' of Wheelchairs
NPR's Michele Norris, host of All Things Considered, talks with NPR's Joseph Shapiro about how this versatile wheelchair works and whom it might benefit.

Analysis of Supreme Court Ruling on ADA
NPR's Madeleine Brand speaks with Rod Smolla, dean of the University of Richmond Law School, about Monday's U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the rights of disabled people to sue if a state fails to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Supreme Court: ADA
NPR's Nina Totenberg reports on today's Supreme Court decision that under the Americans With Disabilities Act, disabled employees are not always entitled to jobs intended for more senior workers. The court says the ADA does not pre-empt company seniority systems. The justices ruled against a U.S. Airways baggage handler with a back injury.

Talk of the Nation: Disability Series, Part 1
Talk of the Nation does a six-part series on disability, looking at reproductive issues, universal design, recreation, and assistive technologies. Also listen to part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, and part 6.