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Disability Severely Limits Net Access, US Survey Finds

Two per cent of US adults – six million people – have a disability that makes it difficult or impossible for them to use the internet, according to new research on the technology habits and abilities of disabled US citizens.

The survey by the Pew Research Center ( http://bit.ly/i0hWaq ), a non-partisan body conducting social science research, also found that Americans with a disability are less likely than other adults to use the internet, with just 54% of US adults with a disability (around 45 million people) reporting themselves as going online, compared with 81% of non-disabled adults.

The quality of internet speed and access were also shown to vary according to a person’s disability profile. “People living with disability, once they are online, are also less likely than other internet users to have high-speed access or wireless access. For example, 41% of adults living with a disability have broadband at home, compared with 69% of those without a disability”, the survey found.

The survey said all these factors could impact negatively on an individual’s employment and life opportunities.

The research for ‘Americans living with disability and their technology profile’ was conducted using telephone interviews with more than 3,000 people from the US, between August and September 2010.

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