[nfbwatlk] {Disarmed} Meaningful New Bill or just More Window Dressing?

Prows, Bennett (HHS/OCR) Bennett.Prows at HHS.GOV
Tue Jul 27 13:18:31 CDT 2010


The following appeared in the "Washington Post", I believe,  last
evening.  I can't help wondering if this isn't just another of those
bills introduced and maybe passed to show the do-gooders' solidarity
with the disabled community.  In short, a bill with no teeth!  But
anyway, happy ADA day yesterday.

 

/s/

 

Bennett Prows

 

By JIM ABRAMS

The Associated Press 
Monday, July 26, 2010; 8:18 PM 

WASHINGTON -- The House on Monday celebrated the 20th anniversary of the
Americans with Disabilities Act by approving legislation assuring that
the disabled have full access to the Internet and television. 

"The ADA mandated physical ramps into buildings," said Rep. Edward
Markey <http://www.whorunsgov.com/Profiles/Edward_J._Markey> , D-Mass.,
sponsor of the bill. "Today, individuals with disabilities need online
ramps to the Internet so they can get to the Web from wherever they
happen to be." 

The bill, which passed 348-23 and now moves to the Senate, takes such
steps as making it easier for the blind to access the Internet from
smart phones, providing deaf people with the ability to watch new TV
programs online with captions included, and requiring that telecom
equipment used to make calls over the Internet be compatible with
hearing aids. 

The measure also: 

-Gives the blind a fuller TV experience through audible descriptions of
on-screen action. 

-Makes cable TV program guides and selection menus accessible to people
with vision loss. 

-Mandates that remote controls have buttons or similar devices to easily
access the closed captioning on broadcast and pay TV. 

-Provides financial support to help the low-income disabled buy
accessible Internet technology. 

The legislation does not require manufacturers and service providers to
install particular technology, but it does set new federal standards
that the telecommunications industry will follow. 

 

 
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1647%3B%7Eaopt%3D2/1/a3/1%3B%7Esscs%3D%3fhttp:/www.comcast.com/nbcutrans
action/?dfaid=2199899&cmp=0> 
 

The House took up the measure immediately after paying tribute to the
achievements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the landmark bill
ensuring the disabled equal access to public places that President
George H.W. Bush signed into law two decades ago. 

"Fifty million Americans have taken advantage of the ADA's promise and
have lived richer lives as a result," said House Majority Leader Steny
Hoyer <http://www.whorunsgov.com/Profiles/Steny_H._Hoyer> , D-Md. 

Presiding over the debates in the speaker's chair was Rep. James
Langevin <http://www.whorunsgov.com/Profiles/James_R._Langevin> ,
D-R.I., the first quadriplegic to serve in the House. It was the first
time Langevin, a five-term congressman, had served as speaker pro
tempore. 

At the White House, President Barack Obama
<http://www.whorunsgov.com/Profiles/Barack_Obama>  marked the
anniversary by promising to boost government efforts at recruiting,
hiring and retaining people with physical and mental limitations. He
signed an executive order requiring the federal personnel agency to
develop model guidelines for hiring people with disabilities. 

Obama also announced that the Justice Department is publishing stronger
rules to prevent discrimination against people with disabilities by
state and local government agencies and private businesses. 

--- 

The bill is H.R. 3101. 

Online: 

Congress:http://thomas.loc.gov <http://thomas.loc.gov>  




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