Abstract - The Information Society 16(2)

An End to Disabling Policies?: Towards Enlightened Universal Service.

Gerard Goggin and Christopher Newell

This paper argues that an enlightened inclusive vision of universal service is possible by learning lessons from disability. Telecommunications policy has historically built in norms which needlessly exclude people who are regarded as having disability, and therefore outside of the mainstream. Accordingly, universal service policies focus on availability and affordability of telecommunications services, rather than their accessibility and functionality. The paper shows how rethinking universal service through disability can lead to inclusive policies which benefit everybody.

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