Section 255 and Section 251(a)(2) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, require manufacturers of telecommunications equipment and providers of telecommunications services to ensure that such equipment and services are accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities, if readily achievable. These amendments ensure that people with disabilities will have access to a broad range of products and services such as telephones, cell phones, pagers, call-waiting, and operator services that were often inaccessible to many users with disabilities.
Key Laws that Impact Telecommunications
Access for People with Hearing Loss
The Basics You Need to Know
Brenda Battat M.S
Outline of Workshop
- Laws impacting telecommunications access
- Provisions of the laws
- Issues surrounding their implementation
- Agency oversight of the regulations
- How to file a complaint
HLAA was appointed to the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) Consumer Advisory Committee (CAC) again last year. We provide input on issues that reach the committee such as broadband and truth in billing that the FCC addresses. HLAA also sits on the Disability Workgroup, where we provide recommendations to the FCC on issues impacting people with hearing and vision loss. For more information about the work of the CAC, visit: www.fcc.gov/cgb/cac.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the re-chartering and re-appointment of members to its Consumer Advisory Committee, a federal advisory committee that addresses consumer issues within the jurisdiction of the Commission.
The CAC will focus on the digital transition, consumer protection and education, access by people with disabilities, and impact upon consumers of new and emerging technologies.
On November 6, 2009, the Federal Communications Commission will hold a field hearing at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. on disabilities access issues as part of its effort to gather information from experts and consumers for the development of a National Broadband Plan. HLAA will join the panel discussion of the issues. Commissioner Michael Copps will host the hearing, and the public is encouraged to attend and participate.
The Hearing Loss Association submitted comments to the FCC on Hand Held’s request for exemption from the hearing aid compatibility rule for their mobile computing devices including their Dolphin Line of products that have mobile telephone capabilities. Hand Held is a manufacturer of mobile computing devices that integrate data collection and transmission functions. This exemption would potentially set up accessibility barriers in the workforce for people with hearing loss and on that basis the Hearing Loss Association opposed the request.
In 2002, the FCC issued an order that would end wireless analog transmissions by 2008. In deciding not to eliminate its analog requirement right away, the FCC explained that additional time was needed to ensure that hearing aid and cochlear implant users could use digital wireless handsets.