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H.R.3101 Bill Information

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  • Synopsis: Published: 2010-07-21 (Rev. 2010-08-03) - H.R.3101 is a bill to ensure individuals with a disability have access to Internet Protocol based communication and video programming in the 21st Century. For further information pertaining to this article contact: Disabled World.

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What is the H.R.3101 - Twenty-first Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2009

H.R.3101 is a bill to ensure that individuals with disabilities have access to emerging Internet Protocol-based communication and video programming technologies in the 21st Century.

The term "disability" has the meaning given such term under section 3(2)(A) of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12102(2)(A)), as such section may be amended from time to time.

Today, there are web-based video services that offer TV programs, movies, and web clips distributed over the Internet, however most of them do not provide closed captioning. In addition, cell phones and other mobile devices are being used more and more for communication and even entertainment.

The Subcommittee on U.S. Communications, Technology, and the Internet held a hearing entitled H.R. 3101, the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2009 on Thursday, June 10, 2010. The legislation would update the communications laws to help ensure that individuals with vision, hearing, and other disabilities are able to utilize fully broadband services and equipment and better access video programming devices.

According to a statement during the hearing Matsui said, "Every American including those who are challenged requires access to updated technologies for personal use, to compete for a job and to be able to communicate and work in a sound environment."

During Chairman Waxman's opening statement he stated, "Ideally we would have a bipartisan bill on the House floor during the week of July 26th. That week marks the 20th anniversary of the enactment of the landmark American's with Disabilities Act, I can think of no better way to mark the anniversary than by bringing to the House floor bipartisan legislation that increase access to digital communications and media for those with disabilities."

As an example, if passed, the new law will:

  • Require all captioned TV programs on the Internet to be shown with captions
  • Closed captioned (CC) buttons must be on TV remote controls
  • Any device, even devices smaller than 13 inches, that shows TV must be able to display captions
  • The federal government's Universal Service programs for communication will help low income people pay for broadband service and will provide special communication access equipment for people who are deaf-blind.
  • H.R. 3101 would require that mobile and other Internet-based telecommunications devices have accessible user interfaces, and offer people with disabilities use of a full range of text messaging and other popular services that are currently largely inaccessible

Although the bill received a great deal of support it was not without opposition. Gary Shapiro the Chief Executive officer of the Consumer Electronics Association called Universal Design an innovation killer and claimed that voluntary efforts would be a better way to go.

See the Text of H.R. 3101: Twenty-first Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2009
www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpdbill=h111-3101




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