Broadband, Opportunity and People with Disabilities

The Martin Luther King Jr. Library, 901 G Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20001, United States

With only 42% of all people with disabilities in the U.S. reaping the benefits of high-speed Internet services at home, the nation must take advantage of a unique opportunity now to make this critical technology more accessible, said Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski. The FCC is preparing to release a National Broadband Plan next week, which includes many recommendations on how to expand the reach and depth of broadband's benefits to people with disabilities.

Working recommendations in the Plan include:

  • A government-wide Accessibility Initiative and establishment of a Broadband Accessibility Working Group
  • An ongoing Accessibility and Innovation Forum at the FCC for stakeholders to share best practices and collaborate on accessibility solutions
  • Action by the FCC, the Department of Justice, and Congress to update accessibility laws and policies and make sure they are enforced.
  • Authorization by Congress for limited use of Universal Service Fund for assistive technology users and developers
  • Use of Telecommunications relay Service funds for broadband services and assistive technology subsidies and for funding additional IP-based services



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