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ERIC Number: ED496278
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Dec-19
Pages: 78
Abstractor: ERIC
The Need for Federal Legislation and Regulation Prohibiting Telecommunications and Information Services Discrimination
Strauss, Karen Peltz
National Council on Disability
This paper explores the need to adopt legislative and regulatory safeguards to guarantee equal access by people with disabilities to evolving high speed broadband, wireless and Internet-based technologies. Recommendations include: (1) Communications Access--FCC or Congress: Extend the telecommunications accessibility requirements of Section 255 of the Communications Act to Internet-based services and equipment. Disability safeguards under the new legal protections should include, among other things, accessible and compatible user interfaces on end-user equipment; a common standard for reliable and interoperable text and video IP and wireless communications; redundant ways of controlling devices and services; and access to user guides and technical support; (2) Video Programming Access--FCC or Congress: Clarify that existing captioning obligations apply to IPTV and other types of multi-channel video programming services that are Internet-based; (3) Universal Service--FCC or Congress: Allow Universal Service Fund (USF) support for broadband services to low-income individuals with disabilities, so that these individuals can choose between public switched telephone network or broadband services when they are entitled to Lifeline and Link Up-type funding. Require all IP-based providers (not only interconnected Voice over Internet protocol providers, as is currently required) to contribute to the USF treasury; (4) Americans with Disabilities Act--FCC or Congress: Require IP-based providers to contribute to interstate relay funds. U.S. Department of Justice or Congress: Clarify that Web sites are covered under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act; and (5) Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act: Legislative Change--Expand Section 508's coverage to entities that are otherwise covered under Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. (Contains 130 endnotes.)
National Council on Disability. 1331 F Street NW Suite 850, Washington, DC 20004. Tel: 202-272-2004; Fax: 202-272-2022; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Council on Disability, Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Americans with Disabilities Act 1990; Equal Access; Rehabilitation Act 1973