Technology and Disability Policy Highlights – September 2020

Date of Publication: 
2020 October

In September, National Preparedness Month was celebrated. Many counties, cities, and nonprofits across the country took the opportunity to virtually educate citizens on the importance of being prepared in the event of a local or national emergency. And the celebrations continued with the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA).  They hosted a discussion panel composed of several prominent members, including the Deputy Chief of the FCC, co-chairs of the Disability Advisory Committee, and the Disability Rights Office Chief. The panel highlighted the progress made towards accessibility since the passage of the CVAA. The Recording of the Live Event is available.

In Wireless RERC news, we submitted comments to the Department of Commerce in response to their Public Notice NTIA Internet Use Survey Questionnaire Development [Docket No. 200813-0218]. The comments recommended that NTIA include additional questions related to the Internet of Things (IoT) devices, services, and use cases. We also published our third Biennial Review of Mobile Phone Accessibility, quantifying accessibility levels of mobile phones available in the U.S. market as of February 2020, and a policy brief that summarizes the FCC’s response to COVID-19 and its implications for people with disabilities. Finally, we continue data collection for our 2020 Survey of User Needs. If you have not already, please take the survey.

Our newsletter also highlights upcoming virtual events related to wireless technology and people with disabilities. The 46th Annual American Association for Access, Equity, and Diversity (AAAED) is still hosting bimonthly virtual sessions. Within our newsletter, you can find the topics of October’s virtual conference workshops. Also forthcoming is the Sight Tech Global conference, which is free to attend. Registration is open now.

This issue also includes news about broadband network hardening, a music app, accessible voting, disability awareness, assistive technologies, wearables,  and more.


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.