Technology and Disability Policy Highlights – October 2020

Date of Publication: 
2020 November

In October, the federal government acknowledged the 75th observance of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) in the U.S. Department of Labor commemorated the occasion with various events and activities based on this year’s theme: “Increasing Access and Opportunity.” ODEP also provided employers and companies with 31 Days of NDEAM, a list of ways NDEAM can be celebrated.

In legislative news, the Online Accessibility Act [H.R. 8478] was introduced in Congress. The Act aims to amend the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to include a website accessibility compliance standard and provide a “predictable regulatory environment” for online retailers and commerce to ensure equitable access for all customers. This legislation comes in light of the COVID-19 pandemic underscoring the need to address website accessibility, as the country has become unprecedentedly reliant on digital interactions.

In regulatory news, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) presented the 2020 Biennial Report to Congress as required by the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) of 2010. In this Report, the FCC recounts biennial data, findings, and recommendations regarding advancements in the accessibility of telecommunication and advanced communications services and equipment. The Report cited the Wireless RERC thirty-three (33) times, and these citations include our comments, filings, and reports over the last two years. See Wireless RERC news for a detailing of our comments’ inclusion in the 2020 Biennial Report to Congress.

Also, in Wireless RERC news, we continue data collection for our 2020 Survey of User Needs. If you haven't already, please take the survey. Georgia Tech's Center for Advanced Communications Policy, and the home of the Wireless RERC, is also seeking any U.S. residents aged 65 or older AND adults with disabilities (any age 18 and up) to take a survey of COVID-19 Information Access.

This issue also included news about broadband, audio description, artificial intelligence, autism, an exosuit, hearables, voting access, wearables, and robotics.


The contents of this website were developed under a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant number 90RE5025-01-00). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this website do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.