To allow Americans with disabilities to experience the benefits of broadband, hardware, software, services and digital content must be accessible and assistive technologies must be affordable.
Accessibility for the Disabled
Recognizing the importance of innovative communications technology designed for people with disabilities, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced the winners of the seventh annual Chairman’s Awards for Advancement in Accessibility (Chairman's AAA). Winners of 2018 Chairman’s AAA:
Orbit Reader 20: This refreshable braille display and notetaker significantly reduces the price point for this type of accessible technology, which has been prohibitively expensive for many blind and low vision persons.
[S]o long as I am Chairman, I will continue to prioritize ensuring that people with disabilities are not left behind as communications technologies advance. We want people with disabilities to be full participants in the digital revolution. I find this to be a perfect segue to tonight’s event: the Chairman’s Awards for Advancement in Accessibility. Through these awards, we can recognize accessibility innovations and initiatives that help us reach our goal of full inclusion.
The Federal Communications Commission today approved an item to reform Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS), a form of telecommunications relay service (TRS) that allows individuals with hearing loss to both read captions and use their residual hearing to understand a telephone conversation.
The item approved by the FCC:
At this meeting, the DAC is expected to receive and consider reports from its subcommittees on Emergency Communications; Video Programming; Technology Transitions; and Relay & Equipment Distribution.
The DAC is also expected to receive presentations from Commission staff or others on matters of interest to the Committee.
The Federal Communications Commission will hold an Open Meeting on the subjects listed below on Thursday, June 7, 2018:
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced that the following items are tentatively on the agenda for the May Open Commission Meeting scheduled for Thursday, May 10, 2018:
[Speech] With more than 50 million people identified as having a disability in this country, it is critical that both legacy communications services and those new and emerging technologies are accessible to all. That is why I believe we must discuss these issues, not just when a rulemaking has “accessibility” in its title, but in each and every proceeding before the Commission. By this I mean, if a proceeding will impact the general public, we must include in that discussion, how those living with a disability will be impacted.
[Speech] My approach when it comes to public safety issues, has been shaped by three, key guiding principles: people with accessibility and access challenges must benefit; we should do all we can to educate every consumer about these safety benefits; and collaboration among all stakeholders works better than litigation.
DAC Designated Federal Officer
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau
Disability Rights Office
(202) 418-0581 (voice)
AT&T is pleased to announce the launch of a new service – Real-time Text (RTT) – that replaces teletypewriter (TTY) and brings communications for people with hearing loss and speech disabilities into the 21st Century. RTT is a text-based communication service that alleviates many of TTY’s short comings. TTY requires turn taking, allows for the use of only a small set of device-generated characters, and is very slow. With RTT, each text character is transmitted and received in near real time, allowing for a conversational flow of communication, simultaneously with voice.