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February 2013 Technology and Disability Policy Highlights

In February the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) extended the Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council (CSRIC) for a fourth two-year term. Nominations for membership are being sought for those individuals that can contribute to the Council’s responsibilities of providing the Commission with expertise and recommendations on the development of standardized best practices for the nation’s communication systems.

Specifically related to emergency communications, the FCC submitted a Report to Congress entitled: Legal and Regulatory Framework for Next Generation 911 Services. The report provides recommendations to Congress on the legal and regulatory infrastructure needed to accelerate the transition from legacy 911 to Next Generation 911 (NG911).  In addition, the FCC released an Order [PS Docket No. 07-287] to officially change the name of the system that transmits emergency alerts to the public from “Commercial Mobile Alert System” (CMAS) to “Wireless Emergency Alerts” (WEA). The purpose of the name change is to reflect the more common usage of WEA by the commercial mobile service providers and provide consistency across organizations.  

New legislation was introduced by U.S Representative George Miller (CA) in an education bill to Congress: The Transforming Education through Technology Act [H.R. 521]. The bill proposes that Congress fund $500 million in grants to be distributed to states and districts that support the application of technology to improve the college-and-career readiness, achievement and engagement of all students, including those with disabilities. 

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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.