National Broadband Plan Field Hearing on Disabilities

Gallaudet University
Washington, D.C.
November 6, 2009

The Federal Communications Commission has scheduled a field hearing at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. on November 6, 2009 on disabilities access issues as part of its effort to gather information from experts and consumers for the development of a National Broadband Plan. Commissioner Michael Copps will host the hearing, and the public is encouraged to attend and participate. Additional information on the agenda, facilities and accommodations will be announced shortly.

The field hearing on disability access issues is one of several field hearings and staff workshops that the FCC is conducting to promote dialogue between the FCC and the public on the development of a National Broadband Plan. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 directed the FCC to submit a National Broadband Plan to Congress by February 17, 2010 that addresses broadband deployment, adoption, affordability, and the use of broadband to advance solutions to various national priorities. The hearing will provide an opportunity for discussion of the many ways people with disabilities are affected by broadband deployment and adoption from panelists and the public. For the full list of Commission workshops, please see: In addition, join the discussion about broadband access for people with disabilities at the Disabilities Access section of the FCC's blog at

Reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request. Include a description of the accommodation you will need with as much detail as possible. Also include a way we can contact you if we need more information. Please provide as much advance notice as possible; last minute requests will be accepted, but may be impossible to fill. Send an e-mail to [email protected] or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (TTY).

Commissioner Michael Copps will host the hearing, and the public is encouraged to attend and participate.


Introduction: Dr. Robert Davila, President, Gallaudet University
Remarks by FCC Commissioners

Panel 1: Experiences, Opportunities and Barriers

  • Marlee Matlin, National Association of the Deaf
  • Mark Richert, Director of Public Policy, American Foundation for the Blind
  • Ari Ne'eman, Founding President, Autistic Self Advocacy Network
  • Jay Wyant, President, Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • Dale Hatfield, Director, Silicon Flatirons
  • Elizabeth Spiers, Director, Information Services, American Association of the Deaf-Blind

11:10 a.m.: Panel 2 Solutions and Recommendations

  • Patrick Timony, Adaptive Technology Coordinator, DC Public Library
  • Patrick Halley, Director, Government Affairs, National Emergency Number Association
  • Alan Hubbard, COO, National Telecommuting Institute, Inc.
  • Lise Hamlin, Director, Public Policy and State Development, Hearing Loss Association of America
  • Janis Krohe, Ph.D., VP, Employment Services Division, Cerebral Palsy Research Foundation
  • Karen Peltz Strauss, Co-Chair, Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology