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The Power of Partnerships

October 29th, 2010 by Pam Gregory

We had an inspiring couple of days in Colorado last week.  On October 21 in Westminister, we participated in the 10th Annual Coleman Institute Conference, entitled “All Together Now:  The Power of Partnerships in Cognitive Disability & Technology.” 

While at the conference, Pam announced that the FCC was partnering with the Coleman Institute and Raising the Floor, an international coalition of individuals and organizations who promote internet accessibility for people with disabilities, to launch a challenge to the public to submit short multimedia presentations on their visions of how cloud computing can create new opportunities.  The challenge, titled "Lifted by the Cloud: Visions of Cloud-Enhanced Accessibility" is the Commission’s first challenge using GSA’s new challenge.gov platform.  More information can be found here.  Preceding Pam’s announcement of the challenge, Elizabeth Lyle, Special Counsel for Innovation in the Wireless Bureau, gave remarks on “The National Broadband Plan and Access for People with Cognitive Disabilities.”

We also participated in a pre-conference workshop in Boulder on October 20, entitled “Implications of Cloud Computing for People with Cognitive Disabilities,” which was sponsored by the Coleman Institute and Silicon Flatirons.  Jamal participated on a panel on “Technical Opportunities and Commercial Infrastructure, including the Farther Future” and Elizabeth participated on a panel entitled “Legal and Regulatory Barriers to Accessibility Technology in the Cloud.”

The Power of Partnerships was truly an apt title – for both days.  The Coleman Institute and Silicon Flatirons created a powerful learning environment by bringing together people with disabilities, advocates, families, researchers, academics, developers, technologists, and policymakers – and we are happy that the Accessibility and Innovation Initiative could be a part of it!

One Response to “The Power of Partnerships”

  1. John Luke says:

    As a person with mental illness I find using the internet helps me remain socially interactive with the world even though I can not work or travel as much as other people. I am able to not have to explain my disabilities thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act and I can just be myself online and have an enjoyable time at that. I think being actively involved socially helps the handicap person feel a part of the world and have less despair, distress and depression. It is natural to get down on oneself feeling inadequate with income and phsycial or mental capabilities but the efforts the FCC is taking to help provide broadband for everyone will someday pay off bigtime. Right now the internet needs to spread throughout America so that broadband is accessible in various formats to help all of America get online for a relatively inexpensive amount of money.

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