President Obama on Friday signed into law the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act which requires smartphones, TV programs and other modern communications technologies to be accessible to people with vision or hearing loss.
“This law is life-changing for the millions of us with disabilities who are too often unable to take advantage of new technologies,” said Paul Schroeder, VP of Programs & Policy at the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB). ”It opens the door to the digital age, and gives Americans with visual or hearing impairments equal access to smart phones, emergency broadcast information, the menus and controls on televisions and cable TV guides, and much more.”
The legislation gives individuals with vision or hearing loss improved access to television programming, smartphones, the Internet, menus on DVD players, program guides on cable TV and more. Specifically, it:
The 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act passed Congress with bipartisan support. Upon being signed, such industry titans as Verizon and the CTIA announced their support for the new law.