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Church Of The
Swimming Elephant


Office of the Press Secretary
(Fayetteville, Arkansas)

For Immediate Release
July 25, 2000

July 25, 2000


SUBJECT: Strategy for the Development and Transfer of Assistive Technology and Universal Design

It is my Administration's policy to accelerate the development and deployment of assistive technology and technology that promotes universal design. Assistive technology maintains or improves the functional capabilities of people with disabilities. Universal design is the design of products and environments that enables all people to use these products, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design. Assistive technologies and products that incorporate universal design principles can significantly improve the quality of life for people with disabilities and increase their ability to participate in the workplace.

Therefore, to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities, I direct as follows: (a) The Interagency Committee on Disability Research (ICDR) shall, within 120 days from the date of this directive, publish a report identifying priority areas for the advancement of assistive technologies and universal design capabilities. This report should be prepared in cooperation with the disability and the research communities. The report should cover technologies needed for improving or increasing:

-- Sensory functioning, such as digital technologies to enhance speech intelligibility;

-- Mobility enhancement, such as advanced prosthetic devices;

-- Manipulation ability;

-- Cognitive function;

-- Accessibility of information and communications technology, such as text-to-speech and speech recognition systems; and

-- Accessibility to, and mobility within, the physical environment.

(b) Following the issuance of this report, each agency that participates in the Small Business Innovation Research program (SBIR) shall, consistent with current law, develop a strategy for enhancing the transfer of technology that can contribute to the needs and requirements identified by the ICDR. This strategy must address both intramural and extramural research and development. Agencies shall publish their strategies 6 months after the issuance of the ICDR report. Agency strategies should include, but not be limited to, the development of focused solicitations under the SBIR program.

This memorandum does not create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable by law, by a party against the United States, its officers, its employees, or any other person.


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