The Need for Federal Legislation and Regulation Prohibiting Telecommunications and Information Services Discrimination
December 19, 2006
SCOPE AND PURPOSE:
This paper explores the need to adopt legislative and regulatory safeguards to guarantee equal access by people with disabilities to evolving high speed broadband, wireless and Internet-based technologies. Experience shows that as these technological innovations stake their claim in American society, market forces will not be sufficient to ensure such access. Rather, Congress, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and other federal agencies will need to step up to ensure that these communications technologies remain accessible to and usable by all Americans with disabilities. The National Council on Disability, an independent federal agency, prepared this paper pursuant to its statutory charge of providing recommendations to the President and Congress to enhance the quality of life for people with disabilities.