[announce] FW: COAT ACTION ALERT-Target-- U.S. Senate! Act Now!
ebridges at acb.org
Tue Aug 3 13:13:46 GMT 2010
Below is an alert concerning H.R. 3101 in the Senate along with our Senate
bill S. 3304. Please read this and call your Senators!
Director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs
American Council of the Blind
2200 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 650
Arlington, VA 22201
ebridges at acb.org
Act Now! Tell the Senate to Pass H.R. 3101!
On July 26, 2010, the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities
Act, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Twenty-first Century
Communications and Video Accessibility Act (H.R. 3101) with a vote of 348 to
23. COAT thanks Representative Ed Markey (D-MA), for authoring,
introducing, and championing H.R. 3101, and Representatives Henry Waxman
(D-CA), Joe Barton (R-TX), Rick Boucher (D-VA), and Cliff Stearns (R-FL),
for their leadership in this bipartisan effort.
H.R. 3101 has most of the accessibility improvements we asked for, but some
things we wanted were not included in the final H.R. 3101 that was passed by
the U.S. House of Representatives:
* H.R. 3101 requires captioned television programs to be captioned
when delivered over the Internet, but does not require captioning on
television-like programs that are shown only on the Internet.
Television broadcasters are providing more Internet-only content and
technology has enabled television sets to pull content directly from the
Internet. To address this growing trend, H.R. 3101 requires the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) to report and recommend to Congress about
captioning television-like programs that are shown only on the Internet.
Congress knows this is important to our community.
* H.R. 3101 does not permit low-income people to use their
Lifeline/Link-Up telephone service discount to reduce the cost of broadband
We expect the FCC to make this possible as part of the National Broadband
Mr. Markey told COAT, "For more than two decades, I have been committed to
ensuring accessible telecommunications for all Americans. The passage of
H.R. 3101 by the U.S. House of Representatives is a major step forward in
the effort to achieve this goal. I remain committed to working with you in
the future to ensure full and equal access to all telecommunications
technologies, equipment, and services."
Act Now to Protect Your Rights!
H.R. 3101 has been sent to the U.S. Senate. This is a critical time for
advocates to take action and make sure the bill is passed.
The U.S. Senate also has a similar bill - S. 3304; however, H.R. 3101 is
stronger than S. 3304.
What H.R. 3101 will do for us that S. 3304 does not:
* Establishes a Telecommunications Relay Services Policy Advisory
* Requires the FCC to report to Congress about access to improved
relay service technologies; and to suggest ways to facilitate use of relay
services in the workplace, and update equipment in public places and
Access to internet-based services and equipment.
* Requires access to Internet services built-in to mobile telephone
devices, like smart phones, if achievable.
* After 4 years, permits the FCC to increase video description to 7
hours per week (up from 4 hours per week on top 4 broadcast networks and top
5 cable channels, in the top 25 most populated markets).
* After 6 years, requires the FCC to apply the video description
requirements to all markets (not just the top 25 most populated markets).
* After 9 years, requires the FCC to report to Congress on the need
for additional video description.
* After 10 years, permits the FCC to adopt recommendations reported
to Congress to increase video description.
* Requires broadcast and cable networks to report to the FCC every 2
years on the amount of captioned television-like programs delivered only
over the Internet.
* Requires the FCC to report and recommend to Congress about
requiring captions on television-like programs that are shown only on the
The U.S. Senate can choose:
* to pass H.R. 3101;
* to pass S. 3304;
* to pass something different; or
* to do nothing.
The Senate may vote soon. COAT urges the U.S. Senate to pass H.R. 3101.
Join us and tell the Senate to pass H.R. 3101. Call, fax, or email your
U.S. Senators now!
Find your U.S. Senators at:
Tell your U.S. Senators:
Vote for H.R. 3101 - the Twenty-first Century Communications and Video
Accessibility Act of 2010. H.R. 3101 is better than S. 3304.
Equal access is critical for education, employment, and civic participation.
Vote for H.R. 3101 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the ADA. Make
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