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NFB Calls for ADA Internet Regulations

July 2014 – The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) concluded their 2014 National Convention with a unanimous vote urging the Obama administration to issue Internet regulations in compliance with Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  More than twenty-five hundred members of the NFB adopted the resolution, noting the need for accessible website design and content that allows access to the Internet through computerized speech software or Braille conversion. President of the NFB, Dr.

FCC to Vote on Closed captioning of Online Video Clips

June 2014 –Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman, Tom Wheeler announced a tentative agenda for July’s Open Meeting. Reports to be considered by the Commission include: Modernizing E-Rate to Deliver Digital Learning, Connect America Fund Rural Broadband Experiments, and Closed Captioning of Internet Protocol-Delivered Video Clips. Regarding the latter, the FCC has planned a vote to determine if online video clips will be included in closed captioning mandates.  The meeting is scheduled for Friday, July 11, 2014 at 10:30a.m. EDT.

FCC Chairman Awards Accessibility Innovators

June 2014 – Federal Communications Commissioner, Tom Wheeler, presented the 3rd Annual Awards for Advancement in Accessibility (Chairman’s AAA) at the 2014 M-Enabling Summit in Arlington, Virginia. These are honorary awards given to innovators that develop communication technologies for people with disabilities. The Chairman’s AAA falls under the FCC’s Accessibility and Innovation Initiative and is awarded to both the private and public sector.

FCC Opens ASL Videophone Line

June 2014 – For the first time, the Federal Communications Commission has launched a service they are calling the “ASL Consumer Support Line.” This video-based support line will engage deaf and hard of hearing consumers who communicate through American Sign Language (ASL). Prior to this, the deaf and hard of hearing community was only able to communicate via relay services or through a complaint form that could be filed online.

Closed Captioning Exemptions Denied

June 2014 – The FCC issued a Public Notice denying petitions for exemption from closed captioning rules.  Sixteen different entities were named in the Notice, 12 of which br8adcast religious programming.  Under the current process, programming providers, owners or producers are able to file a petition for exemption from closed captioning their content if they could show the process to be “economically burdensome.” Regarding the 16 entities cited, the FCC reviewed their initial requests but required further information before processing.


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The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Technologies is sponsored by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under grant number 90RE5007-01-00. The opinions contained in this website are those of the Wireless RERC and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or NIDILRR.