Policy and Outreach Initiatives (DS1)

Technology and Disability Policy Highlights - June 2018

In June, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the winners of its 2018 Chairman's Awards for Advancement in Accessibility (Chairman's AAA). The Chairman's AAA is part of an FCC program that seeks to identify "innovative developments that improve the experience of people with disabilities in telecommunications and technology." Winners for 2018 were recognized at an awards ceremony held in conjunction with the M-Enabling Summit in Arlington, Virginia...

Technology and Disability Policy Highlights - May 2018

In May, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted several waivers related to emergency communications. In a Memorandum Opinion and Order [12-107], the FCC’s Media Bureau granted requests for waivers of the audible crawl rule, permanently exempting analog-only cable systems, and temporarily waiving requirements for television broadcasters to audibly describe visual, non-textual emergency information. The FCC also granted a limited waiver of the Emergency Alert System (EAS)...

Technology and Disability Policy Highlights - April 2018

In April, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Public Notice inviting stakeholder input to Refresh the Record on Facilitating Multimedia Content in Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) [PS Docket Nos. 15-91 and 15-94] was published in the Federal Register, setting the comment and reply comment deadlines as May 29, 2018, and June 11, 2018, respectively. Keeping a laser-like focus on emergency communications, the FCC also released their final report of the 2017 Nationwide Test of the...

Technology and Disability Highlights - March 2018

In March, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a Public Notice seeking comment on a Joint Petition for Extension of Waiver of Accessible Emergency Information Requirements [12-107]. The American Council of the Blind, American Foundation for the Blind, and the National Association of Broadcasters filed the petition jointly requesting additional time (five years) to develop a technical solution that enables the automatic recognition, tagging, and describing of non-textual...

Getting on the Record with the FCC: Public Input Process How To’s

Wireless RERC Principal Investigator, Dr. Helena Mitchell, and Project Director, Salimah LaForce, presented at the 2018 CSUN Assistive Technology Conference. Their presentation provided useful tips on how to submit comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and contribute to disability stakeholder representation in the FCC’s public input process. Wireless RERC policy input through the years has had a significant impact on rules governing disability access to current...

Technology and Disability Highlights - February 2018

In legislative news, the Steve Gleason Enduring Voices Act of 2017 [H.R.2465] was passed in the House as part of the bill to temporarily increase the federal government’s budget. The legislation allows for those that purchased voice-generating devices, also referred to as Alternative and Augmentative Communications (AAC), to be reimbursed through Medicaid and Medicare. Originally passed in 2015, this new version would make the Steve Gleason Act of 2015 permanent. The much-debated ADA...

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,...

Re:Wireless Newsletter - 2018/01/31

The file below is a PDF of the Wireless RERC's 01/31/2018 Re:Wireless Newsletter for consumers.  If you have trouble accessing the file or need it in an alternate accessible format, please contact Ben Lippincott at 678-992-9309 or ben@imtc.gatech.edu.

You can also view the newsletter at this web address:  ...

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...

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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.