CTIA, Verizon Wireless and FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski have lauded President Barack Obama’s passing of a bill that requires smartphones and other consumer electronics be accessible to people with vision or hearing loss.
The 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act includes a mandate that the web browsers, text messaging, and e-mail on smartphones be fully accessible to people with vision or hearing loss and ensures that Internet-capable cell phones are compatible with hearing aids.
CTIA President and CEO Steve Largent commended Representative Ed Markey (D-MA) and Senators Mark Pryor (D-AR), John Kerry (D-MA) and John Ensign (R-NV) for their “commitment to ensuring that every American has access to cutting-edge wireless products and services.”
Verizon public policy executive Kathryn Brown attended the White House signing ceremony for the bill and said it was “moving” to see the president sign the legislation into law.
“This law will ensure that millions of Americans with disabilities have greater access to new broadband services and technologies,” Brown said. “We appreciate the president’s leadership and the important work that was done in Congress to get the job done right.”
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski called the legislation “the most significant disability law in two decades.”
“Most importantly, the new law will ensure that people with disabilities are not left behind and can share fully in the economic and social benefits of broadband,” Genachowski said in a statement. “The law will enable people with disabilities to participate in our 21st century economy.”