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May 2013 Technology and Disability Policy Highlights

In May, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted a Report and Order [FCC 13-64] regarding the roll out of text-to-911, specifically requiring wireless carriers as well as providers of text messaging services to provide a “bounce-back” message to consumers when text-to-911 is not available.  The bounce-back rules become effective June 28, 2013, and are invoked under the authority of  the Twenty-first Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA) to “promulgate regulations that implement one or more of EAAC [Emergency Access Advisory Committee] recommendations.”

In other efforts to implement provisions of the CVAA, the FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking requesting stakeholder input on defining the scope of Sections 204 and 205 of the CVAA, which require user interfaces and navigation devices for video programming to be accessible to people with vision loss.

In research news, the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) has issued a number of final priorities and award notices for research demonstration and training projects covering topics such as disability statistics, employment of individuals with disabilities, and cloud and web computing.

Finally. the Wireless RERC reminds developers to submit proposals by June 30, 2013 for financial support to develop assistive and/or accessibility apps for mobile platforms (e.g., Android, Blackberry 10, iOS, Windows Phone), through its APP Factory project.

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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.