Federal / Regulatory

Paper Brief: Save Lives, Withstand Catastrophe, and Stimulate the Marketplace

This paper brief describes approaches that could encourage the use of FM Radio (specifically the FM chip) via mobile devices as an emergency information source. The intent is to supply unbiased considerations to help ensure that individuals with disabilities and other populations disproportionately impacted by disasters have alternative and accessible means to receive emergency information when cell coverage is disrupted, and access to power is limited.

FM Radio and RBDS-Based Emergency Alerting - Volume 2018, 02 – February 2018

U.S. Federal agencies are responsible for governing emergency communications systems capable of effectively and expeditiously notifying the public. There are several approaches to communicate with the public, but they are limited to cellular networks and cable systems. These limitations are susceptible to damaged cell towers and power outages which can leave people without a means of attaining information in the wake of and during a disaster event. Opening other channels of communication,...

Technology and Disability Highlights - December 2017 - January 2018

The turn of the year saw much regulatory activity concerning emergency communications.  Given the intensity of natural disasters in 2017, including the hurricanes and wildfires, concentrating efforts on identifying emergency communications access barriers and advancing rulemakings that address the same is apropos. To that end, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) released the Hurricane Response Public Notice [17-344] requesting stakeholder input about the effectiveness of...

Presentations Technology and Disability Highlights - November 2017

In the wake of a record-breaking hurricane season and the California wildfires, the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system received public scrutiny and concern as to why it was not uniformly used to deliver emergency messages. One challenge of using WEA was its current limitation on the granular targeting of alerts, which according to one Harris County Official is why his local government did not use the system during Hurricane Harvey, "because it does not want to potentially alert the...

Technology and Disability Highlights - October 2017

October 2017 was celebrated as National Disability Employment Awareness (NDEAM), and the contributions and achievements of people with disabilities were recognized and honored at events and in publications. The Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) 2017 theme for NDEAM was “Inclusion Drives Innovation.” In keeping with the theme, the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau and Connect2HealthFCC...

Technology and Disability Policy Highlights - September 2017

“Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can” was the theme of September 2017’s National Preparedness Month. Though the annual awareness month has come to an end, remember to stay ready. For emergency preparedness and planning tips for individuals with disabilities/access and functional needs, please visit http://ready.ga.gov/make-a-plan/georgians-with-access-functional-needs/. The nation’s Emergency Alert System (EAS) was tested on September 27, 2017, to evaluate and...

Accessibility, Usability, and the Design of Wearables and Wirelessly Connected Devices (Brief #17-01)

Researchers at the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Inclusive Technologies (Wireless RERC) have conducted a review of representative applications and examples of currently available wearable and connected technologies. Drawing on the findings, the research brief explores the potential impact of inclusive design principles on future device development for users with disabilities – a critical approach to ensuring that these

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Technology and Disability Highlights - August 2017

August marks the annual Congressional recess, but work continued at regulatory agencies.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), for example, released a Notice of Inquiry in the Matter of Inquiry Concerning Deployment of Advanced Telecommunications Capability to All Americans in a Reasonable and Timely Fashion [GN Docket No. 17-199] requesting stakeholder input on a number of issues, not the least of which are considerations on how to evaluate and include mobile services and...

Technology and Disability Policy Highlights: July 2017

July 26, 2017, marked the 27th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law. The ADA codified civil rights protections for people with disabilities, prohibiting discrimination that hinders access to programs and services within and outside of the government. In recognition of the 27th anniversary of the ADA, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) released information on how they are guiding policy and enforcing...

Technology and Disability Policy Highlights: June 2017

In June the Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection Subcommittee held two hearings concerning the advancement of emerging technologies: the Disrupter Series: Update on IOT Opportunities and Challenges, and the hearing on Self-Driving Vehicle Legislation. Both hearings addressed the multitude of issues that accompany designing, developing, testing and deploying these technologies. The positive impact that IoT and self-driving vehicles could have on the lives of people with disabilities was...

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Disclaimer

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.