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32 Behav. Sci. & L. 1 (2014)

handle is hein.journals/bsclw32 and id is 1 raw text is: 



Behavioral Sciences and the Law
Behav. Sci. Law 32: 1 3 (2014)
Published online 12 February 2014 in Wiley Online Library
(wileyonlinelibrary.com) DOI: 10.1002/bsl.2106


Introduction to this Special Issue: Disability,

Law and Public Policy, and the World Wide Web

Peter Blanck, Ph.D., J.D.*l



This special issue, entitled Disability, Law and Public Policy, and the World Wide
Web, is meant to highlight how information and communications technology (ICT)
in general, and the Internet's World Wide Web (hereafter web) in particular, has
fundamentally changed the way in which we all, with and without disabilities,
participate politically, socially, and culturally within a global network of dispersed
communities. Although there is a substantial literature on the web and related law
and public policy, fewer articles have examined the implications and promise of the
web for persons with disabilities over the life course, and from a variety of disciplinary
and internationally comparative perspectives.
   This issue is especially timely, given ongoing debates in academic, legal, and policy
circles about the importance of the web to democratic society and to the values of active
citizenship, particularly for those individuals with disabilities who, historically, have
been disenfranchised from meaningful public participation. Related questions about
the full and equal enjoyment of the web are raised that consider the reach and breadth
of web accessibility technical standards and performance criteria to make it available
and usable to persons with disabilities.
   Attempts to address such issues vary across nations and international agreements - for
instance, in the definition of equal access to the web under national laws such as the U.S.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and as conceived by the United Nations
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). These developments
are taking place alongside dramatic and evolving digital information privacy and security
considerations, intellectual property copyright and ownership issues, and global issues of
free speech and censorship on the web.
   In examining these matters, this special issue aims to be a starting point for discussion
among academics and researchers, legal and social advocates, online service providers,
educators and employers, and policymakers interested in emerging issues associated with
the full and equal enjoyment of the web by persons with disabilities. The particular

*Correspondence to: Peter Blanck, Ph.D., J.D., Burton Blatt Institute, Syracuse University, 900 South
Crouse Avenue, Suite 300, Syracuse, New York 13244, U.S.A. E-mail: pblanckhsyr.edu
'Work on this special issue was supported in part by numerous sources, including the Coleman Institute for
Cognitive Disabilities, at the University of Colorado; the Norwegian University of Science and Technology at
Trondheim, to the project Digital Freedom in the 21st Century for Persons with Disabilities; the National
Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) and the Rehabilitation Services Administration
(RSA) in the U.S. Department of Education, and the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) in the
U.S. Department of Labor, through projects such as funded to the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive
Technology Society of North America (RESNA) to establish ODEP's Partnership on Employment and Accessible
Technology (PEAT). For information on these projects and related funding sources, see http://bbi.syr.edu.


Copyright c 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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