[Accessibility] More Sound and Fury? And signifying ... ... ???

Janina Sajka janina at rednote.net
Fri Jul 25 11:03:43 PDT 2003


Date: Thu, 24 Jul 2003 15:06:24 -0400
From: "New Freedom Initiative" <NFI at WhiteHouse.Gov
Subject: Technology for All Americans
To: "New Freedom Initiative" <NFI at WhiteHouse.Gov

Thursday, July 24, 2003,

TO: Disability community:

In honor of the Americans with Disabilities Act anniversary, today, Phil 
Bond, Under Secretary for Technology at the US Department of Commerce 
announced eight steps to further realize a major part of the President's 
New Freedom Initiative, the advancement of assistive technologies for many 
of us who use such devices and services.  Secretary of Commerce Evans' new 
Departmental initiatives move the potential for increased access of 
assistive technology more of a reality for all Americans with disabilities 
to live more independently.  Below is the statement unveiled at 2:00 pm today.

Thank you,
Troy Justesen
Associate Director for Domestic Policy


Technology for All Americans

A Department of Commerce Initiative to Advance the U.S. Assistive 
Technology Industry and Meet the Technology Needs for Disabled Americans

Each year, thousands of people around the world discover that they have 
developed or acquired a disability that necessitates their use of 
assistive technology devices and services to regain or maintain their 
independence.  For others, it may be just another day of living with a 
disability, which they have had since their youth.  Regardless of when 
people develop disabilities, they have a common cause to identify, and use 
whenever possible, assistive technology devices that enable them to lead a 
full life and to be more productive.

Towards that goal, President Bush created the New Freedom Initiative to 
help Americans with disabilities realize their potential and to achieve 
their dreams.  The New Freedom Initiative is a commitment to address 
accessibility barriers and to increase the development of, and access to, 
assistive and universally designed technologies.

Secretary Evans has engaged the Department of Commerce in support of the 
New Freedom Initiative's aim of ensuring that technology development meets 
the needs of all segments of our society.  In February 2003, the 
Department completed a review of the U.S. "assistive technology" (AT) 
industry and published findings and recommendations in the report, 
"Technology Assessment of the U.S. Assistive Technology Industry"
(<http://www.bis.doc.gov/defenseindustrialbaseprograms/OSIES/DefMarketResearchRpts/assisttechrept/index.htmhttp://www.bis.doc.gov/defenseindustrialbaseprograms/OSIES/DefMarketResearchRpts/assisttechrept/index.htm). 
This initiative reflects recommendations in the report to develop a more 
robust U.S. AT industry, both domestically and internationally.

U.S. assistive technology manufacturers are doing much to meet the needs 
of people with disabilities, producing thousands of products to address 
many conditions.  Assistive technology is defined as encompassing any kind 
of process, system, or equipment that maintains or improves the 
capabilities of people with disabilities of any kind -- physical or cognitive.

The AT industry designs, manufactures, and markets devices used to 
increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of disabled 
individuals.  AT devices encompass a range of technologies and 
disciplines.  AT devices include some relatively simple technological 
tools such as canes, walkers, conventional wheelchairs, 
orthotics/prosthetics, and hearing aids.

Increasingly, however, AT devices are becoming more complex and 
technologically advanced.  These products require manufacturers to 
integrate a variety of new engineering and manufacturing processes and 
components.  Some examples include computer-controlled wheelchairs with 
multi-plane occupant positioning, voice recognition software, refreshable 
Braille computer displays, speech synthesizers, communication devices, and 
sensory aids, among an array of other items.

The U.S. AT manufacturers stand to benefit greatly from the demographic 
shifts that are occurring in the United States, Europe, Asia, and 
elsewhere - but only if they can operate efficiently, field superior 
products ahead of competitors, and overcome corporate, institutional, and 
market barriers.  This initiative's goals are to maintain AT market share 
domestically, to expand sales of American-made assistive technology 
products in markets overseas, to incorporate cutting-edge technologies 
into AT products, and to penetrate the underserved and sometimes unserved 
market base of Americans with disabilities.

These goals can be achieved by working together with industry and other 
Federal agencies to improve manufacturing efficiency, enhancing technology 
transfer opportunities, developing private sector consensus standards for 
faster commercialization, fielding new designs to lower production cost, 
and increasing awareness of AT products among people with 
disabilities.  In doing so, the U.S. AT industry would not only serve 
domestic needs, but also foster expansion of the industry and boost 
exports of U.S. AT products and services.


Accordingly, the Department has set forth the following eight-point 
initiative:


1.  Data Analysis to Increase Export Promotion Opportunities

In order to better assess U.S. market position and foreign competition, 
the Department of Commerce through the International Trade Administration 
will collect information on the AT market overseas and undertake an 
analysis of the international AT market to identify export opportunities, 
market entry barriers, and trade promotion activities.  These assessments 
of the competitive status of the U.S. AT providers and manufacturers will 
be prepared with input from industry.

2.  Reaching Out to Industry

The Technology Administration's National Institute of Standards and 
Technology will host a technical forum with AT manufacturers and U.S. 
trade associations to explore how improvements in the management, 
technical, and quality assurance capabilities of AT companies in the 
United States can be enabled.  Additionally, the Department of Commerce 
will hold a roundtable with other Federal agencies, industry, and trade 
associations to discuss the regulatory and trade impacts on the U.S. AT 
industry as it affects product acceptance and certification in overseas 
markets.  This roundtable will be hosted by the Technology Administration 
and the International Trade Administration.

3.  Cataloguing Trade Barriers

Upon identification by the AT industry of unfair trade barriers in certain 
countries, the Department of Commerce through the International Trade 
Administration will consult with the United States Trade Representative 
and the Department of State to catalog punitive practices regarding the 
importation, distribution, sale, and delivery of AT products and services 
in the United States, as well as intellectual property infringement and 
theft.

4.   Manufacturing Guidance and Reference

The Department of Commerce, through the Technology Administration's 
National Institute of Standards and Technology, will work with other 
Federal agencies and AT industry organizations to provide technical 
assistance with manufacturing problems and new processes to enhance the 
development of new assistive technologies.


5.   Facilitating Measurements and Standards Development

Working with standards developers and other organizations -- such as the 
American National Standards Institute, government agencies, industry, and 
user groups - the Department through the Technology Administration's 
National Institute of Standards and Technology will assist in the 
development of AT measurements and voluntary consensus standards by 
ensuring that the performance of AT devices can be accurately specified 
and measured, increasing its functionality and adaptability.

6.  Promoting Technology Transfer

The Department of Commerce, through the Technology Administration's Office 
of Technology Policy which has statutory responsibilities over technology 
transfer, shall assemble with the AT industry a catalog of private and 
U.S. Government organizations that generate and license, or otherwise 
transfer, technology to industry.  The Department will work with 
organizations such as the Federal Laboratory Consortium, the National 
Technology Transfer Center, and other public and private research 
organizations that are sources of technical assistance, product ideas, and 
patented inventions.

7.  Establishment of a National Science and Technology Council Working Group

The National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) Committee on Technology 
will explore the creation of a working group focusing on assistive 
technology research and development and will work in coordination with the 
Interagency Committee on Disability Research.  The NSTC is a Cabinet-level 
interagency entity, serving as the principal means for the President to 
coordinate interagency science and technology matters within the Federal 
government to establish national goals for Federal science and technology 
priorities.  The NSTC Committee on Technology is co-chaired by Commerce 
Under Secretary Phil Bond.

8.   Report to the Secretary

The Department of Commerce will execute the components of this initiative 
and the Technology Administration will provide a status report to the 
Secretary by March 2004.


====================================
Barbara Jackson LeMoine
Legislative Assistant
Governmental Relations Group
American Foundation for the Blind
Washington, DC
202-408-8169    <mailto:blemoine at afb.net
Visit GRG's web site at http://www.afb.org/gov.asp
=====================================
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<html
If this is a duplicate...sorry!!<br<br
<blockquote type=cite class=cite citeDate: Thu, 24 Jul 2003 15:06:24
-0400<br
From: &quot;New Freedom Initiative&quot; &lt;NFI at WhiteHouse.Gov&gt;<br
Subject: Technology for All Americans<br
To: &quot;New Freedom Initiative&quot; &lt;NFI at WhiteHouse.Gov&gt;<br
<br
<font face="arial" size=2Thursday, July 24, 2003,</font<br
&nbsp;<br
<font face="arial" size=2TO: Disability community:</font<br
&nbsp;<br
<font face="arial" size=2In honor of the Americans with Disabilities Act
anniversary, today, Phil Bond, Under Secretary for Technology at the US
Department of Commerce announced eight steps to further realize a major
part of the President's New Freedom Initiative, the advancement of
assistive technologies for many of us who use such devices and
services.&nbsp; Secretary of Commerce Evans' new Departmental initiatives
move the potential for increased access of assistive technology more of a
reality for all Americans with disabilities to live more
independently.&nbsp; Below is the statement unveiled at 2:00 pm
today.</font<br
&nbsp;<br
<font face="arial" size=2Thank you,<br
Troy Justesen<br
Associate Director for Domestic Policy</font<br
&nbsp;<br
<font face="arial" size=2<br
Technology for All Americans<br
&nbsp;<br
A Department of Commerce Initiative to Advance the U.S. Assistive
Technology Industry and Meet the Technology Needs for Disabled
Americans<br
&nbsp;<br
Each year, thousands of people around the world discover that they have
developed or acquired a disability that necessitates their use of
assistive technology devices and services to regain or maintain their
independence.&nbsp; For others, it may be just another day of living with
a disability, which they have had since their youth.&nbsp; Regardless of
when people develop disabilities, they have a common cause to identify,
and use whenever possible, assistive technology devices that enable them
to lead a full life and to be more productive.&nbsp; <br
&nbsp;<br
Towards that goal, President Bush created the New Freedom Initiative to
help Americans with disabilities realize their potential and to achieve
their dreams.&nbsp; The New Freedom Initiative is a commitment to address
accessibility barriers and to increase the development of, and access to,
assistive and universally designed technologies.&nbsp; <br
&nbsp;<br
Secretary Evans has engaged the Department of Commerce in support of the
New Freedom Initiative's aim of ensuring that technology development
meets the needs of all segments of our society.&nbsp; In February 2003,
the Department completed a review of the U.S. &quot;assistive
technology&quot; (AT) industry and published findings and recommendations
in the report, &quot;Technology Assessment of the U.S. Assistive
Technology Industry&quot; <br
(<a href="http://www.bis.doc.gov/defenseindustrialbaseprograms/OSIES/DefMarketResearchRpts/assisttechrept/index.htm"http://www.bis.doc.gov/defenseindustrialbaseprograms/OSIES/DefMarketResearchRpts/assisttechrept/index.htm</a).&nbsp;
This initiative reflects recommendations in the report to develop a more
robust U.S. AT industry, both domestically and internationally.<br
&nbsp;<br
U.S. assistive technology manufacturers are doing much to meet the needs
of people with disabilities, producing thousands of products to address
many conditions.&nbsp; Assistive technology is defined as encompassing
any kind of process, system, or equipment that maintains or improves the
capabilities of people with disabilities of any kind -- physical or
cognitive.<br
&nbsp;<br
The AT industry designs, manufactures, and markets devices used to
increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of disabled
individuals.&nbsp; AT devices encompass a range of technologies and
disciplines.&nbsp; AT devices include some relatively simple
technological tools such as canes, walkers, conventional wheelchairs,
orthotics/prosthetics, and hearing aids.&nbsp; <br
&nbsp;<br
Increasingly, however, AT devices are becoming more complex and
technologically advanced.&nbsp; These products require manufacturers to
integrate a variety of new engineering and manufacturing processes and
components.&nbsp; Some examples include computer-controlled wheelchairs
with multi-plane occupant positioning, voice recognition software,
refreshable Braille computer displays, speech synthesizers, communication
devices, and sensory aids, among an array of other items.&nbsp; <br
&nbsp;<br
The U.S. AT manufacturers stand to benefit greatly from the demographic
shifts that are occurring in the United States, Europe, Asia, and
elsewhere - but only if they can operate efficiently, field superior
products ahead of competitors, and overcome corporate, institutional, and
market barriers.&nbsp; This initiative's goals are to maintain AT market
share domestically, to expand sales of American-made assistive technology
products in markets overseas, to incorporate cutting-edge technologies
into AT products, and to penetrate the underserved and sometimes unserved
market base of Americans with disabilities. <br
&nbsp;<br
These goals can be achieved by working together with industry and other
Federal agencies to improve manufacturing efficiency, enhancing
technology transfer opportunities, developing private sector consensus
standards for faster commercialization, fielding new designs to lower
production cost, and increasing awareness of AT products among people
with disabilities.&nbsp; In doing so, the U.S. AT industry would not only
serve domestic needs, but also foster expansion of the industry and boost
exports of U.S. AT products and services.&nbsp; <br
&nbsp;<br<br
Accordingly, the Department has set forth the following eight-point
initiative:<br
&nbsp;<br<br
1.&nbsp; Data Analysis to Increase Export Promotion Opportunities<br
&nbsp;<br
In order to better assess U.S. market position and foreign competition,
the Department of Commerce through the International Trade Administration
will collect information on the AT market overseas and undertake an
analysis of the international AT market to identify export opportunities,
market entry barriers, and trade promotion activities.&nbsp; These
assessments of the competitive status of the U.S. AT providers and
manufacturers will be prepared with input from industry.&nbsp; <br
&nbsp;<br
2.&nbsp; Reaching Out to Industry <br
&nbsp;<br
The Technology Administration's National Institute of Standards and
Technology will host a technical forum with AT manufacturers and U.S.
trade associations to explore how improvements in the management,
technical, and quality assurance capabilities of AT companies in the
United States can be enabled.&nbsp; Additionally, the Department of
Commerce will hold a roundtable with other Federal agencies, industry,
and trade associations to discuss the regulatory and trade impacts on the
U.S. AT industry as it affects product acceptance and certification in
overseas markets.&nbsp; This roundtable will be hosted by the Technology
Administration and the International Trade Administration.&nbsp; <br
&nbsp;<br
3.&nbsp; Cataloguing Trade Barriers<br
&nbsp;<br
Upon identification by the AT industry of unfair trade barriers in
certain countries, the Department of Commerce through the International
Trade Administration will consult with the United States Trade
Representative and the Department of State to catalog punitive practices
regarding the importation, distribution, sale, and delivery of AT
products and services in the United States, as well as intellectual
property infringement and theft.&nbsp; <br
&nbsp;<br
4.&nbsp;&nbsp; Manufacturing Guidance and Reference<br
&nbsp;<br
The Department of Commerce, through the Technology Administration's
National Institute of Standards and Technology, will work with other
Federal agencies and AT industry organizations to provide technical
assistance with manufacturing problems and new processes to enhance the
development of new assistive technologies.&nbsp; <br
&nbsp;<br<br
5.&nbsp;&nbsp; Facilitating Measurements and Standards Development<br
&nbsp;<br
Working with standards developers and other organizations -- such as the
American National Standards Institute, government agencies, industry, and
user groups - the Department through the Technology Administration's
National Institute of Standards and Technology will assist in the
development of AT measurements and voluntary consensus standards by
ensuring that the performance of AT devices can be accurately specified
and measured, increasing its functionality and adaptability.<br
&nbsp;<br
6.&nbsp; Promoting Technology Transfer<br
&nbsp;<br
The Department of Commerce, through the Technology Administration's
Office of Technology Policy which has statutory responsibilities over
technology transfer, shall assemble with the AT industry a catalog of
private and U.S. Government organizations that generate and license, or
otherwise transfer, technology to industry.&nbsp; The Department will
work with organizations such as the Federal Laboratory Consortium, the
National Technology Transfer Center, and other public and private
research organizations that are sources of technical assistance, product
ideas, and patented inventions.&nbsp; <br
&nbsp;<br
7.&nbsp; Establishment of a National Science and Technology Council
Working Group<br
&nbsp; <br
The National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) Committee on
Technology will explore the creation of a working group focusing on
assistive technology research and development and will work in
coordination with the Interagency Committee on Disability Research.&nbsp;
The NSTC is a Cabinet-level interagency entity, serving as the principal
means for the President to coordinate interagency science and technology
matters within the Federal government to establish national goals for
Federal science and technology priorities.&nbsp; The NSTC Committee on
Technology is co-chaired by Commerce Under Secretary Phil Bond.<br
&nbsp;<br
8.&nbsp;&nbsp; Report to the Secretary<br
&nbsp;<br
The Department of Commerce will execute the components of this initiative
and the Technology Administration will provide a status report to the
Secretary by March 2004.&nbsp; </font</blockquote<br

-- 
	
				Janina Sajka, Director
				Technology Research and Development
				Governmental Relations Group
				American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)

Email: janina at afb.net		Phone: (202) 408-8175




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