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February 2014 Technology and Disability Policy Highlights

In February, U.S. Representatives Matt Cartwright (D-PA), Mark Takano (D-CA) and Steve Stockman (R-TX) introduced a new bill, the Alice Cogswell and Anne Sullivan Macy Act [H.R. 4040], to enhance education for students with sensory disabilities. The bill would ensure children who are blind, have low vision or are deaf or hard of hearing are provided with proper evaluation of their educational needs and qualified teachers to meet those needs.

In regulatory news, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is accepting nominations for the third annual Chairman’s Awards for Advancement in Accessibility (Chairman’s AAA) and will be hosting a former Chairman’s AAA winner, Dr. Juan E. Gilbert, who will discuss “Innovation in Voting Accessibility” in the latest Accessibility and Innovation Speaker Series. Additionally, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is now seeking applicants to serve on the National Advisory Council (NAC).  NAC members serve for three years and provide direct council to the FEMA Administrator.  Lastly, the Department of Transportation (DOT) released the first chapters for a proposed circular meant to offer guidance to transportation providers regarding Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations. The released chapters are the first of a series of twelve, and the DOT is currently seeking comment on the scope and content of the chapters.

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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.