Originally published: March 10, 2010
Last updated: November 29, 2010 - 11:35am
With only 42% of all people with disabilities in the U.S. reaping the benefits of high-speed Internet services at home, the nation must take advantage of a unique opportunity now to make this critical technology more accessible, said Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski. The FCC is preparing to release a National Broadband Plan next week, which includes many recommendations on how to expand the reach and depth of broadband's benefits to people with disabilities.
Working recommendations in the Plan include:
- A government-wide Accessibility Initiative and establishment of a Broadband Accessibility Working Group
- An ongoing Accessibility and Innovation Forum at the FCC for stakeholders to share best practices and collaborate on accessibility solutions
- Action by the FCC, the Department of Justice, and Congress to update accessibility laws and policies and make sure they are enforced.
- Authorization by Congress for limited use of Universal Service Fund for assistive technology users and developers
- Use of Telecommunications relay Service funds for broadband services and assistive technology subsidies and for funding additional IP-based services