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March 2014 Technology and Disability Policy Highlights

In March, H&R Block entered into a five-year consent decree with the Department of Justice (DOJ) following complaints that H&R Block violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by failing to ensure accessibility on their website and mobile applications.

In regulatory news, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, wherein new rules were adopted in accordance with Section 713 of the Communications Act to enhance the quality of closed captioning, including new standards to ensure that captions are accurate and synchronous in portraying the spoken words and background noises, are present for the whole program and are placed in such a way that they do not block important visual content. The FCC also issued a Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding development and deployment of NG911, asking for comments on a possible deadline for deployment and whether relay services should provide text-to-text and text-to-voice services “to support communication with [Public Safety Answering Points]” for consumers.

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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.