Call for Papers: Journal of Information Technology for Development « back to Technology and Disability


Recent developments in technology have influenced perceptions of disability in two important ways. First, improvements in and increased availability of assistive technologies have impacted socioeconomic participation of people with disabilities. Second, with the increasing ubiquity of personal computers, mobile phones, and the Internet, there has been a growing interest in issues of accessibility, i.e. information technology such as devices and networks that are accessible to individuals with disabilities, or that work compatibly with standard assistive technology. However, most research on assistive technologies as well as on issues of accessibility of off-the-shelf consumer technology has been conducted in the context of wealthy societies with good public infrastructure. Much less attention has been paid to designing and producing appropriate and affordable technologies for underserved populations in low-resource areas in both industrialized and developing societies. A small and growing body of work has focused on designing new low-cost technologies, identifying implementation issues, and evaluating socioeconomic development outcomes within underserved populations.

As shown in wealthier population groups, accessible information technologies have the potential to mitigate some of the structural barriers faced by people with disabilities in education, employment, health and civic engagement. These opportunities for increased participation not only impact the socioeconomic status of those with disabilities but also further the cause of an equitable and accessible public sphere. Potential socioeconomic development outcomes are particularly important in the context of poverty and exclusion in underserved communities where public support systems for persons with disabilities are weak or non-existent.

Special Issue on Disability and Information Technology in Underserved Populations

The aim of this special issue is to provide a forum for research and practice on the design, development, and role of information technology in the context of disabilities in underserved communities, and the impact this has on social and economic development. Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Design, development, and implementation of low-cost, accessible IT for underserved populations
  • Impact of accessible IT on poverty among people with disabilities
  • IT as a vehicle for decreasing inequities in education and employment for people with disabilities in underserved communities
  • Facilitators and barriers to the use of IT by people with disabilities in underserved communities
  • National and international policies and standards issues related to accessible IT
  • Multi-agency coordination, advocacy, and information sharing related to accessible IT in underserved populations


Deadline for submissions of papers: September 18, 2010
Notification of initial acceptances: October 31, 2010
Deadline for revised papers: December 15, 2010
Notification of final acceptances: February 15, 2011
Deadline for final versions: May 1, 2010
Tentative Publication Date: June 2011

Authors are invited to submit original research papers or views from practice using the journal submission and reviewing Web site


The submission must be anonymous — the uploaded document may not contain any author information. During the submission process, authors must select “Special Issue – Technology and Disability” when they submit their manuscripts to ensure it gets to the right reviewers. Authors must simultaneously email an electronic copy of their paper to all three special edition editors, email addresses below.

Authors must refer to the submission guidelines to review the dimensions and types of submissions first at:


Joyojeet Pal, NYU-Poly,
Becky Matter, University of Washington,
H. Roland Weistroffer, Virginia Commonwealth University,