Policy and Outreach Initiatives (DS1)

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...

Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) Access on Android Phones (OS version 8.0.0)

This document provides step-by-step instructions for locating and customizing settings for WEA access on Android phones' latest OS version 8.0.0. Additionally, it explains how to activate Android accessibility features such as screen reader and screen magnification for people who are blind or have low vision and pulse notification and captions for people who are deaf/hard of hearing.

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...

Re:Wireless Newsletter - 2017/04/13

This is a PDF of the Wireless RERC's 04/13/2017 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.

Technology and Disability Policy Highlights: May 2017

In May, the Communications and Technology Subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing regarding emergency alerting systems in the United States. The questions and answers during the hearing reflected research and development efforts on the modernization and maturation of the national systems. Questions from Congressional members ranged from technical to specific concerns regarding their district such as Would seniors or socioeconomically challenged...

Need to Know Information about Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA)

This document provides need to know information about WEA. It explains what a WEA is, who WEA providers are, your rights regarding WEA and what you should do to access WEA. Remember, WEA messages can save lives. Do not ignore them!


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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.