RESNA Annual Conference - 2012

Digital Inclusion and Employment Opportunities for Americans with Disabilities: Findings from a Delphi Study

Nathan W. Moon, PhD

Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Workplace Accommodations (WorkRERC) Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, Georgia

James White, PhD

Center for Advanced Communications Policy (CACP) Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, Georgia

Research regarding employment of people with disabilities generally has focused on human-capital concernsLess appreciated, however, is the mechanism that matches job opportunity and job seekers and its dependence on social capital. As workplaces in the "new" knowledge economy are characterized by their reliance on electronic networks for productivity and collaboration, digital technologies represent both a problem and opportunity for Americans with disabilities seeking entry into and inclusion within the knowledge economy. The authors undertook a Delphi study to understand how these digital technologies might serve as barriers or facilitators into the knowledge economy and workforce. Preliminary Delphi analysis suggests that digital technology and its applications will become more important to employment. The analysis also showed respondent agreement that increased use of accessible digital technologies will increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities.


This research was supported by a grant from the National Council on Disability (NCD). Support was also received from the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Workplace Accommodations, which is funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) of the U.S. Department of Education under grant number H133E070026. The opinions contained in this publication are those of the grantee and do not necessarily reflect those of the NCD or U.S. Department of Education.