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Interested in disability history? Check out what happened Today in AT History!


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  • The Telecommunications Act of 1996 is passed. Sections 255 and 251(a)(2) of the act "require manufacturers of telecommunications equipment and providers of telecommunications services to ensure that such equipment and services are accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities, if readily achievable. These amendments ensure that people with disabilities will have access to a broad range of products and services such as telephones, cell phones, pagers, call-waiting, and operator services, that were often inaccessible to many users with disabilities." [1]
  • The 10th Summer Paralympic Games, held in Atlanta, features 3195 atheletes (and several volunteers who are now ATWiki authors) from 103 countries. [2]
  • January 8 - Willie Brown, a partially blind politician, became the the first African-American mayor of San Fransisco, California. While he was a member of the California State Assembly, Brown began to lose his eyesight due to retinitis pigmentosa.[3]
  • The Kurzweil Educational Systems company is formed to provide reading and writing software to assist people who are blind, partially sighted, or who have learning disabilities. It has since been acquired by Cambium Learning Technologies.


  1. A Guide to Disability Rights Laws] U.S. Department of Justice. September, 2005. Accessed on February 2, 2008.
  2. 1996 Summer Paralympics
  3. "A Strong Sense of Vision." Foundation Fighting Blindness. 2008. Accessed on March 21, 2008.