On the 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 348 members of the U.S. House of Representatives voted for HR 3101, the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act. This act will require closed captioning on all Internet video information and will help millions of people have access to these videos. This act will also provide up to $10 million annually for specialized communications equipment for low-income individuals who are deaf/blind. It also requires that Internet telephones be hearing aid compatible.
California Representative Henry A. Waxman states: “Today, as we mark the 20th anniversary of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act, the House is giving Americans with disabilities access to smart phones, other communications technology, and video programming. This bill ensures that millions of Americans with disabilities can participate in our 21st century digital society.”
Senator John Kerry said, “Technology and the Internet have broken down barriers, and no one should be or has to be excluded from modern communications and the new economy because of a disability. It’s been 20 years since the Americans With Disabilities Act knocked down barriers to employment and government services — and now it’s time to do the same thing [with regard to] blocking people with disabilities from getting online.”
So what happens next? The bill gets sent to the Senate for vote and if it passes, it will be signed into law!