Agents of Change: Working Together for Accessible Communications

Abstract: As technology evolves, collaboration between federal government and consumers is more crucial than ever. Indeed, stakeholder collaboration is a significant competent of the work of the Disability Rights Office (DRO), Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to ensure that the FCC’s rules around accessible telecommunications and video programming are effective and enforced. To maximize the reach of the Commission’s rules and policies, the Commission depends on feedback from the community, especially the consumers who directly benefit. After an overview of the FCC’s accessibility rules, DRO will discuss how each one of you can serve as a change agent to create a more accessible world for all.

Summary: Stakeholder collaboration is a crucial competent of the work of the Disability Rights Office (DRO), Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to ensure that the FCC’s rules around accessible telecommunications and video programming are effective and enforced. To maximize the reach of the Commission’s rules and policies, the Commission depends on feedback from the community, especially the consumers who directly benefit. To this end, the presentation is designed to engage the audience – deaf, hard of hearing, and deafblind professionals – in a discussion of their rights under the Commission’s rules to access advanced communications, closed captioning, emergency communications, and telecommunications relay services. After presenting highlights of the Commission’s rules, the presentation will then cover various avenues that consumers may reach out to the Commission, such as filing complaints, filing comments in the Commission’s rulemaking proceedings, attending the Commission’s events, and other ways to share their input with the DRO. We will particularly explain the importance of filing complaints and how information derived from complaints can help inform the Commission of the effectiveness of their current rules and activities and what improvements, if any, are needed. The three learning objectives are as follows: (1) gain a better understanding of rights protected by the Commission’s accessibility rules and policies; (2) identify different methods to engage with the Commission and the DRO; (3) understand why consumer engagement, including individual consumer engagement, is vital to ensuring accessibility for all in the context of telecommunications and video programming.

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