Technologies and Disability

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By blaine
Words 1003
Pages 5
On June 23, 1988, Congressman Jim Jeffords of Vermont and Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa introduced the Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988. On August 19, 1988, President Reagan signed the Act and it became law, Public Law 100-407. The support for the legislation was very strong. People with disabilities, their families and advocates and those who direct or provide services to those with disabilities emphasized to Congress the importance of technology and support services in technology for people with disabilities.Access to information technology is critical in employment and education for people who are blind. The Telecommunications Act of 1996, a comprehensive law overhauling regulation of the telecommunications industry, recognizes the importance of access to telecommunications for people with disabilities in the Information Age. Section 255 of the Act requires telecommunications products and services to be accessible to people with disabilities. This must be easily accomplishable, without much difficulty or expense. If manufacturers cannot make their products accessible then they must design products to be compatible with adaptive equipment used by people with disabilities, where readily achievable.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released Sept. 29 new rules that are designed to give greater access to telecommunications technologies to the disabled. The rules and policies, serving to implement the Telecommunications Act of 1996, will require manufacturers of telecommunications equipment and providers of telecommunications services to accommodate the needs of the disabled whenever possible. The introduction to the report on the new rules states that they "are the most significant opportunity for the advancement of people with disabilities since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990." Further,…...

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