Aug 122010

S. 3304 Passes by Unanimous Consent!

Washington, DC, August 11, 2010: – Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. joins the Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology (COAT) in applauding the U.S. Senate for the passage of the “Twenty-first Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act” (S. 3304) by unanimous consent on August 5, 2010. TDI unites with COAT in expressing our gratitude to Senator Pryor (D-AR), who introduced S. 3304, as well as co-sponsors Senators Kerry (D-MA), Dorgan (D-ND), and Conrad (D-ND). Passage of S. 3304 was also supported by Senators Hutchison (R-TX), Ensign (R-NV), and Schumer (D-NY).

S. 3304 requires captioned television programs to be captioned when delivered over the Internet, requires video description on television for people with vision loss, allocates $10 million per year for communications equipment used by people who are deaf-blind, ensures emergency information is accessible to individuals who are blind or have low vision, and provides for accessibility of advanced communications such as text messaging, email and web browsing on mobile devices, among several other provisions.

“TDI presents heartfelt accolades to both houses of the U.S. Congress for commemorating the positive impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) over the last 20 years by recognizing in letter, and in spirit that all Americans, including those who are deaf and hard of hearing have full access to the latest information technologies,” said Claude Stout, TDI’s Executive Director.  Stout adds, “This unprecedented level of achievement can only occur when consumers, industry and government work together to produce results.  TDI stands ready to work with government and industry in implementing this historic legislation.”

S. 3304 will now go to the House of Representatives for a conference to be reconciled with H.R. 3101 before it is sent to President Barack Obama for his signature.

– Thanks to TDI