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November 2012 Technology and Disability Policy Highlights

In November the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a Public Notice (PN) and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), seeking public input on accessibility topics. The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau asks for comments on the effectiveness of FCC rules regarding hearing aid compatibility (HAC) of wireless handsets; and the Consumer and Government Affairs Bureau requests feedback on making emergency information, video description, and the equipment used to deliver the information more accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired.

At the Consumer Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting held on November 2, 2012, FCC Chairman Genachowski acknowledged the FCC’s commitment to following recommendations from the mHealth Task Force and the incorporation of mHealth technologies in standard medical practice within the next five years. With this effort, the FCC will address the interests and accessibility needs of people with disabilities, low-income individuals and other under-served groups when evaluating and making recommendations regarding the implementation of telehealth technologies.

The FCC announced their next open meeting will be held on December 12, 2012 including an agenda item on a proceeding related to Next Generation 911 (NG 9-1-1) services. This would develop and deploy Text-to-911 services for all individuals, 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.