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Iraq War gives assistive technology a permanent boost

This year alone CAP has gotten 3,500 applications from servicemen and women. The application launches an extensive process of fitting technology to workers. This creates an enormous cohort of users, and families of users, who can support the technology going forward.
Written by Dana Blankenhorn, Inactive

Jonathan Kuniholm, wounded Iraq War veteranFor years assistive technology has been a minor niche. (Pictured is Jonathan Kuniholm, from his story at the Microsoft Web site. Microsoft has long been the industry leader in assistive technology.)

I know. I first proposed this as an assistive technology blog, but the editors here felt that focus was too narrow.

That is now changing, and we have the War in Iraq to thank for it.

Iraq has killed "only" a little over 4,000 of our heroes, but it has left tens of thousands with lifetime disabilities.

The Department of  Defense reports its Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program (CAP) has filled over 7,000 accomodations for assistive technology since October 1. Since 1990 it has filed just 66,000 such applications.

This year alone CAP has gotten 3,500 applications from servicemen and women. The application launches an extensive process of fitting technology to workers.

This creates an enormous cohort of users, and families of users, who can support the technology going forward. And given the status wounded veterans have with the public, it's going to be a permanent push driving assistive technology forward.

If George W. Bush is looking for his legacy, here it is.

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