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Welcome to the Journal of Special Education Technology (JSET)
A publication of the Technology and Media Division of the Council for Exceptional Children

JSET Articles Index

Volume 18 Number 4

The Interdependent Roles of All Players in Making Technology Accessible

Terry Thompson
The University of Washington


Making technology accessible is a complex and difficult problem, involving many individuals and groups. When a particular technology presents a barrier to an individual, who is at fault? Often blame is assigned to an individual technology developer, content developer, or educational entity, though doing so is often an oversimplification of the problem. In actuality, a variety of players, individually and through relationships with one another, play critical roles in making technology accessible. Players include consumers, technology developers (including developers of assistive technology, operating systems, software applications, user agents, and authoring tools), standards organizations, K-12 and postsecondary schools, employers, advocates and legislators. This article provides an overview of the current state of technology accessibility by examining the roles of each of these players and their interdependencies.