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Legislation Brings Hope for People With Disabilities Left Out of New Communications Technologies
Date:6/20/2008

COAT Applauds Representatives Markey and Wilson for introducing "The 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2008"

WASHINGTON, June 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology (COAT) is delighted that Representatives Edward Markey (D-MA) and Heather Wilson (R-NM) have introduced "The 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2008" (H.R. 6320). The bill would amend the Communications Act to ensure that new Internet-enabled telephone and television services are accessible to and usable by people with disabilities and closes existing gaps in telecommunications laws.

The bill is co-sponsored by Representatives Lois Capps (D-CA), Hilda Solis (D-CA) and Barney Frank (D-MA).

Jenifer Simpson, of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), said, "Once again, as he did in the 1980s and 1990s, Representative Markey is safeguarding an accessible communications future for people with disabilities. We are delighted that he, Representative Wilson, and the co-sponsors put value on accessibility in digital communications. We applaud all of them for their extraordinary leadership -- and we look now to the Senate to address the same issue of accessible communications technologies."

Added Rosaline Crawford, of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), "Digital and Internet technologies are very exciting. They make it possible for TVs and other video devices -- of virtually any size -- to receive, transmit, and display TV programs and videoclips with captions. Captions make TV programs and videoclips accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing. As more and more TV programs embrace the Internet, people who are deaf or hard of hearing must not be left behind. Captioning TV programs and videoclips shown on the Internet is needed for the same reasons it is needed when shown on TV."

Mark Richert, of the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), s
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SOURCE American Association of People With Disabilities
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