[tabi] Fwd: Article: Congress votes to give disabled better Web, TV access

  • From: Lighthouse of the Big Bend <lighthousebigbend@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: tabi <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, fcb-l <fcb-l@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 4 Oct 2010 16:35:22 -0400

---------- 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

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
- 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
- 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.


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