Bill Would Make Technology More Accessible to Americans with Disabilities


 WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), author of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (H.R. 3101), today issued the following statement after the bill was reported out of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet. The bipartisan bill has over 50 co-sponsors, and today the Subcommittee approved the bill with revisions made since Rep. Markey introduced the bill in June 2009.

Today marks an important step toward breaking down the walls of exclusion in the digital era so that all Americans can access the latest video and communications technologies that are increasingly indispensable for everyday life,” said Markey.

While the last decade has produced an unprecedented technological revolution, the wizardry of the wires and the sophistication of software programs do little for those who cannot affordably access or effectively use them. Today’s Subcommittee action is an important milestone on the path to passage of this bill to coincide with the twentieth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities act on July 26th.  I also would like to thank Chairman Boucher and Chairman Waxman for their support in moving this legislation forward.”

Markey’s bill brings existing federal laws requiring communications and video programming accessibility up to date, filling in accessibility gaps, and ensuring the full inclusion of Americans with disabilities in all aspects of daily living through accessible, affordable and usable communication and video programming technologies.

The bill 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 legislation seeks to provide a smooth migration to the next-generation of Internet-based and digital communication technologies for people with disabilities.

Full text of the bill can be found here http://energycommerce.house.gov/documents/20100630/HR3101.pdf

A copy of the Subcommittee-approved bill with revisions can be found here:  http://energycommerce.house.gov/documents/20100630/AINS3101_xml.pdf



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