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July 2012 Technology and Disability Policy Highlights

In July, the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act [S. 3187] was enacted which establishes a working group to develop best practices, such as the use of Braille or “talking bottles” to ensure the accessibility of prescription drug labels. July 26th marked the 22nd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Organizations and government agencies across the nation commemorated the day with discussions of the road travelled and the road ahead, with regard to independence and inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of life.  The Presidential Proclamation encouraged the Nation to celebrate the contributions of Americans with disabilities, acknowledging legislation aimed at empowering citizens with disabilities to be active, healthy and productive citizens.

Also in July, the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission launched the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program, making a total of $10 million available annually.  The Commission also began gathering information on the impact of the Twenty First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) for their first biennial report as required by the CVAA.  The Public Notice [DA 12-1051] invites comment on the degree to which industry is in compliance with and taking measures to become compliant with the Act.  The FCC published in the Federal Register the final rule, Hearing Aid Compatibility Technical Standard, adopting the 2011 American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard for measuring the hearing aid compatibility of wireless phones. 

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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.