Industry and consumers working together for mutual benefit to ensure that new and existing technologies improve the quality of life for all consumers who have hearing loss or are Deaf


To inspire more accessible, innovative, and responsive technologies from the ground up that meet the needs of consumers who have hearing loss or are Deaf

ICAAT's Origins

The concept for ICAAT was inspired by the work of the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) Foundation. Each year the CTA Foundation brings leaders from the disability and accessibility communities to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in order to build relationships between consumers and industry and to highlight technologies and the opportunities for technology to enhance the lives of people with disabilities

The CES activities highlighted the need for an ongoing program and process to continue and expand on those valuable experiences. A set of goals were developed to guide the program from concept to implementation.

  • Create an industry and consumer alliance where consumers with hearing loss, Deaf consumers, and technology developers can collaborate for mutual benefit
  • Provide explicit understanding of this consumer community and their experiences in the real world
  • Foster a participatory process in which the consumer community becomes intrinsic at all stages of and in all facets of design and development
  • Inspire and support the development of more usable, accessible, and innovative technology solutions for these consumers 

Implementing the Concept

The Industry-Consumer Alliance for Accessible Technology (ICAAT) is a virtual collaborative space for our consumer and industry partners to interact in several ways. ICAAT contains four elements addressing each of our program goals.

ICAAT's Tech Forum is a virtual community of practice welcoming consumers and technology producers. The Tech Forum facilitates discussions between and among consumers and technology producers, encourages the sharing of experiences, knowledge, and ideas around technology topics, and curates relevant resources and event listings.

ICAAT's User Stories share the insights and experiences of everyday consumers with those who work to develop, improve, and expand the use of communication-assistive technologies and mainstream consumer technologies. Personal stories about the daily challenges that consumers, or “users,” face are a valuable and effective way to begin the design process for technology solutions.

ICAAT's Co-Design Connect is a place where Industry can recruit for market research and product testing activities and consumers can learn about and respond to these recruitment opportunities. Industry may also request consultation with subject matter experts at Hearing Loss Association of America.

ICAAT's Co-Design Essentials provides practical information for Consumer and Industry participants when working with each other. Our practical information touches on a whole variety of topics, such as the product design and development process and understanding consent and data usage for Consumers. For Industry, topics such as communication preferences and best practices for providing communication access are discussed.

ICAAT's Funding

ICAAT is a 5-year development project (2019-2024) of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing Technology Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (DHH Tech RERC) at Gallaudet University in partnership with the American Institutes for Research and Hearing Loss Association of America. The DHH Tech RERC is funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). 

The contents of this site were developed under this NIDILRR grant (number 90REGE0013). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this site do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.