FYI... ---------- Forwarded message ---------- Subject: Congress votes to give disabled better Web, TV access Congress votes to give disabled better Web, TV access (Boston Globe) By Associated Press | September 30, 2010 WASHINGTON - The blind will have greater access to the Internet through smartphones, and devices such as iPhones and Blackberrys will have to be compatible with hearing aids under legislation Congress has sent to the president. Mark Richert of the American Foundation for the Blind said yesterday that the measure was one of the most comprehensive bills in decades to improve access for the disabled. "It breaks down barriers for all of us,'' said Richert, who is blind. The video accessibility act, which passed the Senate last month, was approved by the House late Tuesday. The measure sets federal guidelines for the telecommunications industry assuring that the blind will have access to the Web through improved interfaces for smartphones. Also, over time, more than 60 hours a week of video programming must have audio descriptions. It will also: - Make TV program guides and selection menus accessible to people with vision loss. - Require that video programming devices such as MP3 players and digital video recorders be capable of closed captioning and video description. - Provide funds to help the low-income disabled buy accessible Internet technology. - Provide the deaf with the ability to watch new TV programs online with captions included. "Two decades ago, Americans with disabilities couldn't get around if buildings weren't wheelchair accessible; today it's about being Web accessible,'' said Representative Edward Markey, Democrat of Malden and the main House sponsor. http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2010/09/30/congress_vo tes_to_give_disabled_better_web_tv_access/ -- Lighthouse of the Big Bend Guiding People Through Vision Loss 3071 Highland Oaks Terrace Tallahassee, FL 32301 (850) 942-3658 www.lighthousebigbend.org Check out the TABI resource web page at http://acorange.home.comcast.net/TABI and please make suggestions for new material. if you'd like to unsubscribe you can do so through the freelists.org web interface, or by sending an email to the address tabi-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word "unsubscribe" in the subject.