[announce] FW: Historic Senate Hearing Builds Compelling Case for Landmark Communications and Video Programming Legislation
ebridges at acb.org
Thu May 27 17:11:46 GMT 2010
Below is a very accurate description of the Senate hearing yesterday
concerning S.3304, Equal Access to Twenty-First Century Communications Act.
The Commerce Committee is interested in moving the legislation this summer.
Director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs
American Council of the Blind
2200 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 650
Arlington, VA 22201
ebridges at acb.org
From: AFB DirectConnect [mailto:mrichert at afb.net]
Sent: Thursday, May 27, 2010 10:31 AM
To: AFB Subscriber
Subject: Historic Senate Hearing Builds Compelling Case for Landmark
Communications and Video Programming Legislation
AFB DirectConnect Letterhead
Historic Senate Hearing Builds Compelling Case for Landmark Communications
and Video Programming Technology Legislation
For further information, contact:
Director, Public Policy, AFB
mrichert at afb.net
The massive effort to put Internet-equipped accessible mobile phones and
other technology into the hands of people with disabilities took yet another
giant leap forward yesterday. Senator John Kerry (D-MA) held an historic and
well-attended hearing of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and
the Internet which he chairs to discuss how he and his Senate colleagues can
move swiftly to enact comprehensive telecommunications and video programming
legislation that would dramatically improve the ability of people with
vision loss to benefit from the technology revolution.
Compelling testimony from an Iraq War veteran who lost his vision in combat,
along with presentations by an impressive array of witnesses from the
deafness and technology industry communities, underscored the tremendous
possibilities that are in store for all people with disabilities if only the
most commonly available mobile and video programming technologies are
designed with the unique needs of people living with vision loss and other
disabilities in mind.
Senator Kerry expressed the hope that comprehensive legislation will be
passed in the Senate soon. The Senate legislation, S. 3304, the Equal Access
to Twenty-first Century Communications Act, while flawed in several areas,
does mirror in many ways the landmark bill currently pending in the House
sponsored by Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), H.R. 3101, the Twenty-first Century
Communications and Video Accessibility Act, legislation that enjoys the
endorsement of the disability community and major industry players. Rep.
Markey also testified at yesterday's hearing and congratulated his Senate
counterparts for their leadership.
Given the growing momentum in Congress, there is increasing optimism that
action in either or both chambers may be possible in time for the twentieth
anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act to be
commemorated on July 26 of this year. Advocates should therefore continue to
press their House and Senate members to support prompt passage of the
strongest possible technology accessibility bill and to use H.R. 3101 as the
model for such legislation.
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