Kids with disabilities lag in technology

While the Internet and other technologies could give children with disabilities a greater chance at success, fewer of these kids have access to such tools than youngsters without disabilities, a new study says.

Fewer than four in 10 kids with disabilities have access to the Internet at home, compared to almost two-thirds of children without disabilities, The Children’s Partnership in Santa Monica, Calif., says in its latest report.

More than 8 percent of children under age 15 have a disability, jumping to 10.5 percent for youth ages 15 to 24.

Of those who have disabilities, fewer than half have a computer at home, the report says, while more than seven in 10 kids without disabilities have a home computer.

Computers and other information-and-communications technologies are critical for children with disabilities, the report says, allowing them to improve their education, job preparation, health and participation in their communities.

“Broadband and advanced technology can create a genuine transformation in the life of a child with disabilities,” Wendy Lazarus, co-president of the partnership, says in a statement.

“There is also an important public benefit: [Information-and-communications technology] helps young people with disabilities become more independent and better able to contribute to their communities,” she says.

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