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Broadening our concepts of universal access.


The universal accessibility movement has focused on solutions for people with physical limitations. While this work has helped bring about positive initiatives for this population, physical disabilities are just one of the many life situations that can complicate people’s ability to fully participate in an information economy and society. Other factors affecting accessibility include poverty, illiteracy, and social isolation. This paper explores how the universal accessibility movement can expand its efforts to reach other diverse populations. We discuss four sets of resources -- physical, digital, human, and social -- that are critical for enabling people to use information and communication technology, and provide some examples of how these resources can help people access, adapt, and create knowledge.

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