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Disability and the Internet: Confronting a Digital Divide

Paul T. Jaeger
Disability and the Internet: Confronting a Digital Divide
ISBN: 978-1-58826-828-0
ISBN: 978-1-62637-191-0
2011/225 pages/LC: 2011016941
Disability in Society
"This is an important work.... Jaeger provides solidly researched background on the laws that should guide provision of internet services but also points out where accommodations fail to meet people's needs."—Karen Muller,

"Offers very practical solutions to improve web accessibility and usability at both the technical and political levels.... A worthy and important read."—Natasha Saltes, Canadian Journal of Disability Studies

"It is with definite authority that [Jaeger] paints a complete history of how a technology that promised to make the world accessible for people with disabilities largely created new barriers to participation."—Rebecca G. Oxley, Government Information Quarterly

"An excellent resource for librarians, designers, or anyone else who knows little or a lot about the technology barriers that are faced by individuals with disabilities.... [It] will inspire the reader to think differently about the impact of digital exclusion."—Brian Wentz, The Library Quarterly

"A must read.... Highly recommended."—Choice

"A must-read.... Jaeger shows that accessibility is not just a technical issue, but has a major impact on the quality of life for people with disabilities."—Jonathan Lazar, Towson University

"A foundational text.... Jaeger deftly and clearly presents the opportunities and challenges that internet technologies represent for people with disabilities."—Paul M. A. Baker, Georgia Institute of Technology   


From websites to mobile devices, cyberspace has revolutionized the lived experience of disability—frequently for better, but sometimes for worse. 

Paul Jaeger offers a sweeping examination of the complex and often contradictory relationships between people with disabilities and the Internet. Tracing the historical and legal evolution of the digital disability divide in the realms of education, work, social life, and culture, and also exploring avenues of policy reform and technology development, Jaeger connects individual experiences with the larger story of technology’s promise and limitations for providing equal access online.


Paul T. Jaeger is professor in the College of Information Studies and codirector of the Information Policy and Access Center at the University of Maryland


  • Disability in the Internet Age.
  • The Digital Divide: Historical and Legal Issues.
  • Barriers to Online Access: Personal, Public, and Professional Spheres.
  • Improving Accessibility: Technology Evaluation and Policy Reform.
  • Identity and Advocacy: Possibilities and Impacts.
  • Toward an Inclusive Internet.