Technology access law helps those with special education needs

The technology access law sets federal guidelines that require the telecommunications industry to:

  • Make getting to the internet easier by improving the user interfaces on smart phones.
  • Provide audible descriptions of on-screen action to help the blind more fully enjoy television.
  • Add captions to online TV programming to help the deaf.
  • Make the equipment used for internet telephone calls compatible with hearing aids.
  • Add a button or other switch to television remote controls for simpler access to closed captioning on television.

Paul Schroeder, a vice president at the American Foundation for the Blind, said many blind or deaf people have had to spend hundreds of dollars on costly accessories or software to make their cell phones and other devices easier to use.

“We hope that companies will start working immediately on making solutions available and affordable for people with disabilities,” he said.

Blind since childhood, Schroeder described the bill as “life changing.”

“As a person who is blind, it will bring some of the new technologies that are changing the workplace, education and leisure into my hands,” he said.

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