On landmark law's 20th anniversary, House passes bill to make Internet more accessible for disabled
The House late Monday passed a bill that aimed at making the Internet and mobile phones more accessible to the disabled through video captions for the hearing impaired and better descriptions of smartphone screens for the blind.
The 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, which was sponsored by Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), cleared the House on a vote of 348 to 23. Its approval came on the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act and as a similar bill works its way through the Senate.
"The ADA mandated physical ramps into buildings," Markey said in a statement. "Today, individuals with disabilities need online ramps to the Internet so they can get to the Web from wherever they happen to be."
Some key points of the legislation:
- It would become easier for the blind to use smartphones with improved interfaces;
- Television shows and movies would have better audio descriptions to benefit the visually impaired;
- Cable television program guides would have easier-to-use selection menus to benefit the visually impaired;
- Online television shows would be required to have closed-captioning;
- Remote controls would have to include an easy-to-use button for closed captioning on broadcast and paid television;
- Internet-based phone calls will have to be compatible with hearing aids;
- Low-income deaf and blind consumers would be able to tap a $10 million a year program for help in purchasing Internet and telecom services.
July 26, 2010; 9:50 PM ET
Save & Share: Previous: 'Jailbreaking' the iPhone
Next: Senate preps online privacy legislation as advertisers promise self regulation
Posted by: kevinobrien | July 27, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: tkhesin | July 27, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.