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ADA Title IV: Telecommunications Relay Services

Outline: ADA Title IV addresses telephone and television access for people with hearing and speech disabilities.

Main Digest

ADA Title IV addresses telephone and television access for people with hearing and speech disabilities.

ADA Title IV addresses telephone and television access for people with hearing and speech disabilities.

It requires common carriers (telephone companies) to establish interstate and intrastate telecommunications relay services (TRS) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

TRS enables callers with hearing and speech disabilities who use telecommunications devices for the deaf (TDDs), which are also known as teletypewriters (TTYs), and callers who use voice telephones to communicate with each other through a third party communications assistant.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has set minimum standards for TRS services. Title IV also requires closed captioning of Federally funded public service announcements.

Telecommunications Act

Section 255 and Section 251(a)(2) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, require manufacturers of telecommunications equipment and providers of telecommunications services to ensure that such equipment and services are accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities, if readily achievable.

These amendments ensure that people with disabilities will have access to a broad range of products and services such as telephones, cell phones, pagers, call-waiting, and operator services, that were often inaccessible to many users with disabilities.

For more information, contact:

Federal Communications Commission

445 12th Street, S.W. Washington, D.C. 20554

(888) 225-5322 (Voice)

(888) 835-5322 (TTY)

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