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Wireless RERC Recommends ASL Translation of Emergency Messages

May 2014 – The Wireless RERC filed comments regarding EAS Rules to Support Multilingual EAS and Emergency Information [EB Docket No. 04-296] corroborating the work of the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC) in their efforts to increase access to emergency information for people whose native language is not English, specifically noting the need for the inclusion of American Sign Language (ASL).  ASL is a distinct language used by individuals of the deaf community and is fundamentally unlike English.

EEOC Requests Input on Revisions to Section 501 of the Rehab Act

May 2014 – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is interested in revising the regulations implementing Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which directly “governs employment of individuals with disabilities by the federal government.” The EEOC is looking to the public for input on how to improve federal hiring of people with disabilities.

Conference Concerning Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

May 2014 – The Conference of States Parties will hold its 7th session on June 12, 2014 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. The session discussions will include the following topics: “Incorporating the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) provisions into the post-2015 development agenda; Youth with disabilities; and National implementation and monitoring.” The conference will cover committee membership elections, debates and topic specific roundtables.  The deadline for CSOs to register online for the convention is May 30th.

Wireless RERC Makes Text-to-911 Recommendations

May 2014 – The Wireless RERC filed reply comments to the FCC’s Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding Facilitating the Deployment of Text-to911 and Other Next Generation 911 Applications. In accord with Sprint’s comments, the Wireless RERC agreed that, while relay service providers perform a valuable role in providing telecommunications access for people with disabilities, within the context of 911 calls relay services are not ideal.

FCC Issues $12M Fine to Purple Communications

May 2014 — The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture against Purple Communications proposing a forfeiture of almost $12 million for abuse of the Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) Fund. TRS is a service for individuals with speech and hearing disabilities, providing them with free accessible telephone services.


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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.