- Information and Communications Technology Policy
- S&E Organizations, Education, Careers and Workforce
- Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy
- Ph.D., George Mason University, Public Policy
- M.T.S., Emory University, Theological Studies
- M.A., George Mason University, International Commerce and Policy
- M.P., University of Virginia, Urban Planning
- B.S., University of Wisconsin, Zoology
Paul M.A. Baker, Ph.D., is the Senior Director, Research and Strategic Innovation at the Center for Advanced Communications Policy (CACP), and Interim Chief Operating Officer, Center for the Development and Application of Internet of Things Technologies (CDAIT). He is also a Principal Research Scientist with the School of Public Policy. Previously he was the Associate Director of the Center for 21st Century Universities (C21U). Aside from exploring the diffusion innovation and policy in IoT, recent research projects include innovation driven workforce development, mapping the role of intermediaries in innovation networks, usability of voting technologies, implementation of accessible technologies. His work in policy studies include barriers to the adoption of wireless technologies by people with disabilities, teleworking and people with disabilities; social media innovation, online collaboration and virtual communities. He is also involved in international policy research and collaborative policy networks, especially as it relates to issues of technology and usability policy, workforce development and innovation diffusion.
Baker holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy from George Mason University, a Master’s degree in Theological Studies from Emory University, M.P. in Urban Planning from the University of Virginia, and an M.A. in International Commerce and Policy from George Mason University. He has served on a variety of national boards and panels, and as a grant proposal reviewer for U.S. Department of Education, the Academy of Finland, the Israel Science Foundation, and the NTIA, US Department of Commerce. He serves also on editorial boards and as a reviewer for 15 journals. His co-edited (with Jarice Hanson and Jeremy Hunsinger) volume, “The Unconnected: Social Justice, Participation, and Engagement in the Information Society” was published in 2013.
- Latin America and Caribbean
- North America
- South America
- United States
- Community engagement
- Diffusion of Technology
- Digital and Mixed Media
- Education Policy
- Emerging Technologies - Innovation
- Higher Education: Teaching and Learning
- International Collaboration and Partnership Development
- Perspectives on technology
- Religion and Politics
- Technology Management and Policy
Journal Article – 2021
COVID-19 is having an enormous impact on civic life, including public services, governance, and the well-being of citizens. The pace and scope of technology as a force for problem solving, connecting people, sharing information, and organizing civic life has increased in the wake of COVID-19. This article critically reviews how technology use influences the civic engagement potential of the smart city, in particular for people with disabilities. The article aims to articulate new challenges to virtual participation in civic life in terms of accessibility, usability, and equity. Next, the article proposes a framework for a smart participation future involving smarter communities that utilize universal design, blended bottom-up, and virtual community of practice (VCoP) approaches to planning and connecting citizens with disabilities to smart cities. Policy and ethical implications of the proposed smart participation future are considered.
Bricout, J., Baker, P. M., Moon, N. W., & Sharma, B. (2021). Exploring the Smart Future of Participation: Community, Inclusivity, and People With Disabilities. International Journal of E-Planning Research (IJEPR), 10(2), 94-108. doi:10.4018/IJEPR.20210401.oa8
"Gig economy and sharing economy to rebuild and enhance labor"
Journal Article – March 2020
This article integrates the international and domestic typical research literature of the "gig economy" (Gig economy), focuses on the potential of the "Gig economy" in the knowledge industry era to transform and improve the quality of "labor", and proposes that the knowledge industry era endows the "Gig economy" and The "sharing economy" supports each other and provides opportunities for development. In particular, it gives laborers a more forward-looking development opportunity in addition to traditional forms of industrial practice. It gives a more appropriate conceptual connotation and The relevant development mechanism emphasizes the unique role of "Gig Economy" in recreating the ingenuity value of labor by sharing the direction of economic specialization in this context, thereby enhancing the unique role of labor quality. The sharing economy and its digital software platform as a supporting platform also require the needs of high-quality and highly diversified labor to create and promote their own differentiated development. This development relationship may also be the development of China's new industrial economy and its corresponding Policy and strategy to provide inspiration.
Chen, Xiang-dong, Zhang, Feng, and Baker, P.M.A. (2020). Gig economy and sharing economy to rebuild and enhance labor. China Soft Science (No.1, 2020, pp 21-29 - published 3.20.2020)
Journal Article – 2020
As we age, many of an individual's abilities (e.g. cognition, perception, mobility) begin to change in ways which can result in functional limitations. Although capabilities vary across the population, change also varies within the lifespan of individuals. An array of technologically based supports (e.g. traditional eyeglasses, a walker, hearing aids) have been developed to mitigate the challenges that result from such age-related changes, and ideally, enhance quality of life. Administrators in a key setting, assisted living centers and nursing homes, are constantly presented with options to adopt new technologies for use by residents and staff that could cost-effectively increase independence. However, lack of awareness, as well as public policies to encourage technology awareness and training not only affects older individuals directly, but, extends to the resources available to senior living facilities. When the end user is not included in the design and development process, suboptimal outcomes are inevitable due to a disconnect between the product, the user, and the context of use. We present an inclusive development /adoption approach based in four core areas: the engagement of stakeholders, improved design standards, integrated policy streams, and updated privacy policies.
Denker, A.H. and Baker, P.M.A. (2020). Digital Tech for Inclusive Aging: Usability, Design and Policy. Journal on Technology and Persons with Disabilities, Volume 7, 2020, PP. 255-264.
"Accessibility and the Engaged Citizen"
Presentation – September 2019
Baker, P.M.A. and Moon, N., Invited Conference Presentation: "Accessibility and the Engaged Citizen," 2019 Georgia Digital Government Summit, Atlanta, Georgia, September 23, 2019.
"Designing wearable technologies for users with disabilities: Accessibility, usability, and connectivity factors"
Journal Article – August 2019
Moon, N. W., Baker, P. M., & Goughnour, K. (2019). Designing wearable technologies for users with disabilities: Accessibility, usability, and connectivity factors. Journal of Rehabilitation and Assistive Technologies Engineering. https://doi.org/10.1177/2055668319862137
Report – June 2019
"Revisioning the U.S. Elections Process: Voting Security and Election Integrity," a Smartmatic Corporate white paper, was developed by CACP researcher Paul M.A. Baker for the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) Summer Conference, June 30 through July 3, 2019, in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
"Postsecondary education and the development of skilled workforces: comparative policy innovation in Brazil and the U.S."
Chapter – 2019
This chapter describes some policy-related approaches to postsecondary workforce development in place in the United States and Brazil, and outline some potential areas that might be reasonable approaches to enhance the impact of innovation relate to workforce transformation. Policy related to technical and vocational education has varied over time, with the federal government playing a key role in providing guidelines and incentives to implement major programs and approaches. While equating “skill” with educational attainment in traditional economics literature serves as a useful heuristic, it is also somewhat representative of the dysfunction present in policy approaches aimed at fixing the problem of workforce divergence. In Brazil, education has been shaped through different programs over time, in response to changing social and political objectives. There are some internal aspects of Brazil’s economic context that can explain the relatively late emphasis on advanced skills training and workforce development rather than on primary social/literacy-based direction.
Baker, P.M.A., Drev, M., & Almeida, M. (2019). "Postsecondary education and the development of skilled workforces: comparative policy innovatin in Brazil and the U.S., In U. Hilpert (Ed.), Diversities of Innovation. United Kingdom: Taylor & Francis Ltd: Routledge. pp. 108-136.
"Accessibility, Usability, and Social and Cultural Acceptance of Next-Generation Wireless Devices"
Report – December 2018
A new research brief by CACP researchers Nathan W. Moon, Paul M.A. Baker, and Kenneth Goughnour, summarizes findings from focus groups which explored accessibility, social appropriateness, and cultural acceptability issues of wireless technology related use among individuals with disabilities. The research was conducted for the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Wireless Inclusive Technologies (Wireless RERC). A total of 41 individuals with disabilities who use smartphones, wearables, and "smart home" devices participated in the study.
Report – July 2018
A new white paper by the Center for the Development and Application of Internet of Things Technologies (CDAIT), Thought Leadership Working Group (co-chaired by Wireless RERC researcher, Dr. Paul M.A. Baker) defines IoT and its dimensions, and more broadly, addresses the opportunities and limitations of SmartCities, IoT deployments, use cases (e.g., public safety, transportation, healthcare, utilities), data ownership and security, business models, ethics, and so much more. Dr. Baker ensured that the Thought Leadership Working Group were thinking of an accessible, inclusive IoT framework. According to the report: “With an eye toward increasing the utility of IoT for end users, other aspects that need to be considered are the accessibility and usability of these technologies, which can increase participation for a great number of users. This is a typically overlooked design component and one that designers and developers of Smart City-connected applications, devices, and technologies could facilitate by obtaining input from a wide range of users, especially those who could potentially benefit the most from IoT technologies: people with disabilities, the aging, minorities/underrepresented groups, and other underserved populations.”
"Analysis of Accessibility Features on Mobile Phones"
Report – May 2018
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has a statutory obligation to evaluate the impact of their regulations that implement the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA). Every two years the FCC submits a report to Congress on the state of industry compliance with the CVAA. In anticipation of the FCC's call for stakeholder input to inform their 2018 CVAA Biennial Report, the Wireless RERC conducted a 2017 Mobile Phone Accessibility Review (Accessibility Review/Review). Preliminary results of the review were submitted to the FCC[i] in response to the request for “input on the state of accessibility of “mobile” or wireless services, including basic phones and feature phones (collectively referred to herein as non-smartphones), as well as smartphones.”[ii] This report contains the full summary and comparative analyses.
[i] Mitchell, H., LaForce, S., Moon, N., Baker, P.M.A., Garcia, A., & Jacobs, B. (2018, May 3). Comments submitted in response to the Public Notice in the Matter of The Accessibility of Communications Technologies for the 2018 Biennial Report Required by the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act [CG Docket No. 10-213, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau]. Federal Communications Commission: Washington, D.C.
[ii] Federal Communications Commission. (2018). FCC Invites Public Comment in the Preparation of Biennial Report to Congress. Retrieved from https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-18-340A1.pdf
"A Research Agenda for the Science of Broadening Participation: STEM Employment of Individuals with Disabilities"
Report – April 2018
This science policy research report addresses key issues, barriers and opportunities for increasing participation in STEM fields and the workforce among under-served populations, focusing on individuals with disabilities and, in particular, veterans with disabilities. This is especially important as these populations might not be aware of, or not actively involved in, social networks of STEM innovators, and conversely technology innovators might not fully consider these individuals as important contributors to innovation systems. The report also explores the potential of new frameworks, dissemination design parameters, and knowledge-generating communities to provide lessons learned and guidance for effective practices and inclusion in STEM disciplines. Addressing the underrepresentation of individuals with disabilities in STEM fields, it offers an analysis of relevant research and policy approaches and looks to inform related government agenda-setting and decision-making.
A Science Policy Research Report: A Research Agenda for the Science of Broadening Participation: STEM Employment of Individuals with Disabilities.
Kaye Husbands Fealing, Paul M. A. Baker, Connie L. McNeely, and Andrew Hanus. Presented at the Innovation Policy Forum Workshop on Government Decision-Making to Allocate Scientific Resources, January 8-9, 2018, The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
"Barriers to Employment Participation of Individuals with Disabilities: Addressing the Impact of Employer (Mis)Perception and Policy"
Journal Article – April 2018
Although progress has been made toward the objective of increased employment for people with disabilities, the 17.2% employment rate of people with disabilities stands in distressing contrast to the 65% rate of those without disabilities. This article summarizes the results of a comparative survey of representative academic literature and industry publications related to employer policies and practices that can affect workforce participation of individuals with disabilities. Emergent themes include variance in employer perspectives on hiring of individuals with disabilities, impact of perceived versus actual cost as a hiring barrier, and the perceived mismatch of education and/or skills to job qualifications among applicants with disabilities. These themes represent key areas to probe in subsequent research. The research objective is to identify focal points in the industry literature, representative of employer and industry (demand side) points of view that differ from those generally portrayed in the academic literature (more generally, supply side). Findings from a thematic analysis of industry publications can provide (1) evidenced based background to assist in crafting targeted policy to address employer awareness, (2) informed development of industry guidance on topics that may assist employers to achieve a more inclusive workplace, and (3) insights applicable to addressing barriers to broadening participation by technical, scientific, and engineering trained individuals with disabilities.
Baker, P. M. A., Linden, M. A., LaForce, S. S., Rutledge, J., & Goughnour, K. P. (2018). Barriers to Employment Participation of Individuals With Disabilities: Addressing the Impact of Employer (Mis)Perception and Policy. American Behavioral Scientist, 62(5), 657–675. https://doi.org/10.1177/0002764218768868
"The Assistive Wearable: Inclusive by Design"
Journal Article – 2018
Wearable technology has the potential to usher in a new wave of assistive technology. Many wearable devices are already being used by people with disabilities as assistive technology. Here we discuss how designers might use design considerations and body maps to make sure that the wearable devices they are creating are accessible to everyone. The hope is that, with a thoughtful process, new wearable technology can also act seamlessly as assistive technology
Zeagler, C., Gandy, M., Baker, P.M.A. (2018). The Assistive Wearable: Inclusive by Design. Assistive Technology Outcomes and Benefits, Volume 12 (Summer) 11-36.
"Does culture affect usability? A trans-European usability and user experience assssment of a falls-risk connected health system following a user-centered design methodology carried out in a single European country"
Journal Article – 2018
User-centred design (UCD) is a process whereby the end-user is placed at the centre of the design process. The WIISEL (Wireless Insole for Independent and Safe Elderly Living) system is designed to monitor fall risk and to detect falls, and consists of a pair of instrumented insoles and a smartphone app. The system was designed using a three-phase UCD process carried out in Ireland, which incorporated the input of Irish end-users and multidisciplinary experts throughout.
Stara, V., Harte, R., Di Rosa, M., Glynn, L., Casey, M., Hayes, Rossi, L., Mirelman, A., Baker, P.M.A., Quinland, L. & ÓLaighin, G. (2018). Does culture affect usability? A trans-European usability and user experience assessment of a falls-risk connected health system following a user-centered design methodology carried out in a single European country. Maturitas, 114, 22-26.