Before Congress adjourned on June 26, Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) introduced the "21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2009" (H.R. 3101). This comprehensive measure would modernize disability accessibility mandates in the Communications Act, bringing existing requirements up to date as TV and phone services connect via the Internet and use new digital and broadband technologies. COAT leaders said the following:
"The time is now to safeguard an accessible communications future," said Jenifer Simpson of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD). "We commend Rep. Markey for his leadership and look now to the U.S. Senate for a similar leader!"
Karen Peltz Strauss of Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD) said, "H.R. 3101 puts people with disabilities squarely into 21st century broadband communications so we can take full advantage of Internet advancements enjoyed by everyone else."
"Digital technologies make it possible for TVs and other video devices -- of virtually any size -- to receive, transmit and display TV programs and video clips with captioning," said Rosaline Crawford of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD). "Captioning is needed for video material shown on the Internet for the same reason captioning is needed on TV."
Mark Richert, of the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) stated," We are fed up with playing catch up whenever new technologies are released. People with vision loss will finally have access to everything from text messaging, watching TV and receiving emergency infromation, if this bill is enacted."
Added Eric Bridges of the American Council of the Blind: "Video description and accessible user interfaces on TV devices are essential for us. We've waited a long time for this."
Thank Rep. Ed Markey today via Email Form for introducing the bill.
Contact your Representative today to ask him or her to co-sponsor H.R. 3101! See sample letter in the Comments, below.
Contact both your Senators today to ask them to introduce a similar Senate bill!
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