Nathan W. Moon

Director of Research, Center for Advanced Communications Policy

Member Of:
  • Center for Advanced Communications Policy
  • School of Public Policy
Fax Number:
404-385-0269
Office Location:
IPST 314

Overview

Nathan W. Moon, PhD, is a Senior Research Scientist at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and he serves as Director of Research of the Center for Advanced Communications Policy (CACP) at Georgia Tech. His research focuses on increasing access to education and employment for people with disabilities, with specializations in the accessibility of information and communications technologies (ICTs), workplace accommodations and employment policy, broadening participation in STEM education, and program evaluation.

In support of this work, he has served as PI or co-PI for nine projects totaling over $2.5 million in sponsored funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institute for Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (BOR-USG), and Facebook, Inc. Additionally, he has served as Project Director for two Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers (RERCs) at Georgia Tech

Notable projects have included the nine-year, NSF-funded Georgia STEM Accessibility Alliance (GSAA) to broaden the participation of secondary and postsecondary students with disabilities in STEM education through the provision of electronic mentoring via virtual worlds. He also has led research and evaluation projects in support of the University System of Georgia (USG) STEM Initiative to improve postsecondary attainment within the State of Georgia.

Dr. Moon also is the Principal Investigator for a Field Initiated Project on the Contingent Employment of People with Disabilities (FIP-CE). This three-year research project is funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). FIP-CE investigates the participation of individuals with disabilities in contingent employment arrangements, including jobs obtained through web-based or app-based platforms associated with the nascent “gig economy" associated with services such as Uber, Lyft, and Handy. Moon also serves as Project Director for the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Wireless Inclusive Technologies (Wireless RERC), where he leads the RERC's Survey of User Needs and research on the sociocultural design factors for next generation wireless technologies.

Dr. Moon has authored or co-authored two books, three book chapters, and 24 peer-reviewed articles, and he also has delivered nearly 20 invited and keynote presentations and over 30 refereed conference presentations. One particularly notable publication has been Accommodating Students with Disabilities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), an NSF-sponsored handbook for researchers, educators, and practitioners in the field. He also holds a courtesy appointment at Adjunct Professor/Lecturer in the School of History, Technology & Society, where he teaches courses in modern American and European history. In 2018, he completed a term on the Board of Directors for RESNA, The Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America, and he has served as Chair of RESNA’s Government Affairs Committee (GAC) since 2012.

Dr. Moon received his PhD in the history and sociology of science and technology from Georgia Tech in 2009. In addition to his research on disability and technology policy, he undertook a historical study of psychostimulant drugs, namely amphetamines and Ritalin, to understand their medical applications and extramedical consumption in postwar America.

Education:
  • Ph.D. in History and Sociology of Technology and Science (Georgia Tech, 2009)
  • M.S. in History and Sociology of Technology and Science (Georgia Tech, 2006)
  • M.A. in History (Georgia College & State University, 2002)
  • B.A. in History (Georgia College & State University, 2002)
Awards and
Distinctions:
  • RESNA "Rookie" Award, 2013
  • Homer Rice Award, 2009
Areas of
Expertise:
  • Accessibility Of Information And Communications Technologies (ICTs)
  • Broadening Participation In STEM
  • Disability Studies
  • History Of Medicine
  • Postsecondary Education
  • Workplace Accommodations And Employment Policy

Interests

Research Fields:
  • History of Technology/Engineering and Society
  • Information and Communications Technology Policy
  • Program Evaluation, Public Management and Administration
  • S&E Organizations, Education, Careers and Workforce
  • Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy
  • U.S. Society and Politics/Policy Perspectives
Geographic
Focuses:
  • Europe
  • United States
Issues:
  • Health
  • Accessibility
  • Autism
  • Disability
  • Emerging Technologies - Innovation
  • Science and Engineering Workforces

Courses

  • HTS-2013: Modern America

Recent Publications

Journal Articles

  • Exploring the Smart Future of Participation: Community, Inclusivity, and People With Disabilities
    In: International Journal of E-Planning Research [Peer Reviewed]
    Date: 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.

    View All Details about Exploring the Smart Future of Participation: Community, Inclusivity, and People With Disabilities

  • Wireless Device Use by Individuals with Disabilities: Findings from a National Survey
    In: Journal on Technology & Persons with Disabilities [Peer Reviewed]
    Date: June 2020

    We present findings from the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Inclusive Technologies (Wireless RERC) Survey of User Needs (SUN) for 2017-2018. The Wireless RERC has surveyed wireless technology adoption and use among individuals with disabilities since 2002, and this article presents findings from the sixth iteration of the SUN. Broadly, it continues to find growing rates of adoption of smartphone technologies among people with disabilities relative to the general population. With an increase of smartphone use among individuals with disabilities from 54% in 2012-2013 and 71% in 2015-2016, to 88% in 2017-2018, our findings suggest further narrowing of the digital "disability divide." SUN respondents generally indicated that their devices were easy to use. Regarding device satisfaction, over three-fourths of smartphone users indicated that they were satisfied or very satisfied with their smartphones. Relatively less established, newer features such as real-time-text and intelligent personal assistants have yet to be widely adopted. However, the higher-than-average use of real-time-text among individuals who reported deafness or difficulty hearing suggests this features' potential for increasing usability and accessibility of these devices, specifically, and communications, in general. For this version, we added new questions on the adoption and use of next-generation wireless devices, as part of a growing trend toward Internet of Things (IoT)-based "smart homes."

    View All Details about Wireless Device Use by Individuals with Disabilities: Findings from a National Survey

Presentations