Blanck presents at NIDRR event

April 4, 2013

The Right to Web Equality for People with Cognitive Disabilities


Dr. Blanck is University Professor at Syracuse University, which is the highest faculty rank at the University. He is Chairman of the Burton Blatt Institute (BBI). Blanck also is Chairman of the Global Universal Design Commission (GUDC) and President of Raising the Floor (RtF) US. Blanck received his Ph.D. at Harvard University and J.D. at Stanford Law School. He has written on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and related laws, and received grants from NIDRR and other entities to study disability law and policy. Prior to teaching, Blanck practiced law at the Washington D.C. firm Covington & Burling. Blanck's books include: eQuality 3.0: The Right to the Web for People with Cognitive Disabilities (2014 forthcoming, Cambridge University Press); Genetic Discrimination–Transatlantic Perspectives on the Case for a European Level Legal Response (with Quinn & de Paor, 2014 forthcoming); People with Disabilities: Sidelined or Mainstreamed? (with Schur & Kruse, 2013 forthcoming); Disability Civil Rights Law and Policy (with Myhill, Siegal &Waterstone, 2013 forthcoming); Legal Rights of Persons with Disabilities: An Analysis of Federal Law (with Goldstein & Myhill, 2013), and Race, Ethnicity, and Disability: Veterans and Benefits in Post-Civil War America (with Logue, 2010).


Is there a right, under the ADA and other laws, to the full and equal enjoyment of web content by people with disabilities in general, and by people with cognitive and print-related disabilities in particular? If there is such a “right,” what are its boundaries? Against what standards is such a right to be measured? And, if a right to the web may be realized, how may it further economic, civic and social participation of people with disabilities, and be feasible to implement by online service providers and their content developers and designers? In addition, given its global implications, may there be a universal right to the web, as suggested by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities? U.S. courts and the courts of other countries have yet to address the particular boundaries of this right. Dr. Blanck’s believes that the right to the web means that those individuals with disabilities who choose to engage the web have the opportunity within reason for equivalent and comparable use of its content, as compared to others without disabilities in the same situation. Dr. Blanck will share insights on these issues, as based on his forthcoming book, in a talk entitled: “The Right to Web Equality for People with Cognitive Disabilities.” Dr. Blanck’s work on this book and related projects has been supported, in part, by grants from NIDRR and the Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disability.

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