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FCC Broadband Plan Draws from Center's Comments

The Federal Communication Commission's National Broadband Plan, sent to Congress on March 16, 2010, includes broad-ranging disability access recommendations. Cited in the plan are the extensive public comments submitted by Center Director Gregg Vanderheiden and both RERC teams (Telecommunications Access; Universal Interface & IT Access), discussing issues and potential solutions to ensure that people with disabilities are able to fully participate and benefit from coming advances in broadband technologies.

The Center contributed its expertise in response to the FCC's request for additional information on access to broadband by people with disabilities. Public comments include the following:

In addition to the Center's written comments, Vanderheiden presented at the FCC Broadband Policy Round Table held at Gallaudet University on Oct. 20, 2010.

Vanderheiden also presented as an invited panelist at the Silicon Flatirons Conference on the National Broadband Plan and Accessibility for People With Disabilities, held in Washington, D.C., on March 10, 2010. Speaking at this event, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said that "with only 42% of all people with disabilities in the U.S. reaping the benefits of high-speed Internet services at home, the nation must take advantage of a unique opportunity now to make this critical technology more accessible." (A video of the conference is available.)

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