November 2013 Technology and Disability Policy Highlights

Date of Publication: 
2013 November

In November, the United States District Court found that New York City failed to accommodate the needs of people with disabilities when planning for and responding to disasters in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The court highlighted that the plan does not include provisions for the accessibility of transportation, emergency shelters, or emergency communications for people with disabilities. Although the case only holds the City liable for their actions, the decision highlights the importance of accessibility during emergencies for people with disabilities within all communities.

In the regulatory arena, the federal Communications Commission (FCC) has revised the process for filing complaints regarding the accessibility of “advanced communications services and equipment, Internet browsers built into mobile phones, and telecommunications services and equipment.” The new procedures will allow individuals to contact companies directly concerning accessibility issues. Complaints can also be resolved with help from the FCC Disability Rights Office. Following the release of a blog post by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler highlighting future efforts of the FCC Technology Transitions Policy Task Force, the FCC released a Public Notice [DA 13-2078] to inform interested parties of ways to provide the Task Force with comments or feedback. The notice particularly highlights that interested parties are welcome to request ex parte meetings with the Task Force and may do so by submitting meeting requests to

The Wireless RERC requests your assistance with distributing the Wireless Emergency Alerts Survey to people with disabilities. The survey is available in both English and İen Español!. Feel free to cut and paste the announcement located in the Wireless RERC news section and share it with our contacts.


The contents of this website were developed under a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant number 90RE5025-01-00). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this website do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.