[Missouri-l] Fwd: [coataccess] August Action Alert [1 Attachment]
chiphailey at cableone.net
Tue Aug 18 13:29:49 CDT 2009
>Delivered-To: chiphailey at cableone.net
>From: "Rosaline Crawford" <rosaline.crawford at nad.org>
>Date: Tue, 18 Aug 2009 13:47:04 -0400
>Subject: [coataccess] August Action Alert [1 Attachment]
>Reply-To: coataccess at yahoogroups.com
>[Attachment(s) from Rosaline Crawford included below]
>August Action Alert
>Recently, COAT affiliate Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of
>Hearing, Inc. (TDI) hosted a "legislative day" on Capitol Hill as
>part of its biennial international conference in Washington, DC. A
>large audience of congressional staff members, industry
>representatives, and consumers were informed about H.R. 3101, the
>"Twenty-first Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of
>2009." At the end of the briefing, TDI board members lead eager
>groups of consumers to visit offices in the U.S. House of
>Representatives and present information about H.R. 3101. Many
>consumers shared personal stories about the need for this new law to
>ensure access to advanced communications, captioning on television
>programs distributed on the Internet, and communication equipment
>for people who are deaf-blind.
>This was an empowering event. Ordinary people took action by
>telling their stories about the need for access and asking members
>of Congress to support and co-sponsor this new law. It was
>incredible to see grassroots in action.
>During the month of August, members of Congress will be in their
>home states. Grab this opportunity to meet with your congressional
>representatives and advocate for access.
>Learn more about H.R. 3101.
>You can read, print, and provide a
>page summary of H.R. 3101 and a
>summary of H.R. 3101. The text of these documents is also available
>on the COAT website at
>You can also read, print, and provide a copy of the "Dear Colleague"
>letter that was recently sent to members of the U.S. House of
>Representatives by Representative Ed Markey (see text below or
>attached Word document).
><https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml>Contact your U.S.
>Representative. Ask about attending an event, such as a town hall
>meeting with your Representative, or make an appointment to see your
>Representative in your home state.
>Ask your Representative to co-sponsor H.R. 3101 to ensure access in
>the 21st Century.
>Co-Sponsor H.R. 3101, the Twenty-first Century Communications and
>Video Accessibility Act
>August 12, 2009
>Over the last decade, we have seen a revolution in the way Americans
>interact, learn and conduct business. However, the wizardry of the
>wires and the sophistication of software programs do little for
>those who cannot affordably access or effectively use them. I
>recently introduced H.R. 3101, the Twenty-first Century
>Communications and Video Accessibility Act, to ensure that all
>Americans are offered equal access to these exciting and innovative
>H.R. 3101 would amend the Communications Act to ensure that new
>Internet-enabled telephone and video services and equipment are
>accessible to, and usable by, people with disabilities. The bill
>also closes existing gaps in telecommunications laws. From extending
>hearing aid compatibility and Internet closed captioning to
>real-time text support for emergency services, H.R. 3101 seeks to
>provide a smooth migration to the next-generation of Internet-based
>and digital communication technologies.
> The guiding principle of the Twenty-first Century
> Communications and Video Accessibility Act is to bring existing
> federal laws requiring communications and video programming
> accessibility up to date, to fill in any accessibility gaps, and to
> ensure the full inclusion of people with disabilities in all
> aspects of daily living through accessible, affordable and usable
> communication and video programming technologies. H.R. 3101 would:
> * Extend federal law that currently requires hearing aid
> compatibility (HAC) on newly manufactured and imported telephones
> to comparable IP-compatible equipment (CPE) used to provide
> Internet-enabled voice communication service. The purpose of this
> provision is to ensure that people with hearing loss have access to
> telephone devices with a built-in speaker (typically held to the
> ear) used with advanced technologies.
> Clarify that telecommunications relay services (TRS) are intended
> to ensure that people who have hearing or speech disabilities can
> use relay services to engage in functionally equivalent telephone
> communication with all other people, not just people without a
> hearing or speech disability
> * Require advanced communications service providers and
> manufacturers to make their services and equipment accessible to
> and usable by people with disabilities unless doing so would result
> in an undue burden
> * Add new measures to improve the accountability and enforcement
> of these new disability safeguards, including reporting obligations
> for industry and the FCC, directives for new FCC complaint
> procedures, and clarification of FCC penalties for non-compliance
> * Direct the FCC to conduct inquiries on a variety of topics,
> including ways to transmit closed captioning and video description
> on video programming exhibited on new technologies, including
> Internet protocol and digital wireless services and equipment; ways
> to make televised emergency information accessible to people who
> are blind or visually impaired; and ways to make user interfaces
> and related on-screen menus or visual indicators on video
> programming apparatus used for the navigation or selection of video
> programming accessible.
> * Expand existing closed captioning requirements to video
> programming apparatus of all sizes and require that such apparatus
> also deliver video description.
> * Direct the FCC to establish a schedule of deadlines for video
> described programs. Those rules, originally promulgated in 2001,
> were struck down by a U.S. Court of Appeals for lack of FCC authority.
> * Require the FCC to issue regulations for video programming
> providers and owners and multichannel video programming
> distributors to make their video programming information and
> selection accessible to people who are unable to read the visual
> display, so that these individuals can make program selections in real-time.
>This bill would not be an economic burden on the industry and
>consumers, just as similar assertions raised against hearing aid
>compatibility or against the closed captioning bill I sponsored and
>successfully battled to make law in 1990 proved to be erroneous. In
>that debate, we were told that mandating closed captioning was
>overly burdensome and would cost a fortune. Today, that law is
>indispensable, and the update this new bill would provide will be
>Current co-sponsors of H.R. 3101 are: Barbara Lee, Linda Sanchez,
>Stark, Israel, Tim Ryan, Van Hollen
>If you have questions or would like to co-sponsor, please have a
>member of your staff contact Mark Bayer on my staff at 5-2836 or
><mailto:mark.bayer at mail.house.gov>mark.bayer at mail.house.gov.
> Edward Markey
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