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October 8, 2010: A Historic Moment

We’ve been blogging about this legislation for months, and the battle has been won!  President Obama signed the 21st Century Communications & Video Accessibility Act into law on Friday, October 8, 2010, during the National Disability Employment Awareness Month. This new legislation requires smart phones, television programs, emergency broadcast information, the Internet, menus on DVD players, program guides on cable TV, and other communication devices to be accessible to people with disabilities, thus creating more opportunities in the workplace and classroom. It also provides funding for deaf and blind people to purchase communication equipment and services. With society’s new reliance on the Internet and other modern technologies, this legislation simply allows people with disabilities access to technologies that are used in everyday life.

Many people fought long and hard for this bill to become a law. Representative Edward Markey authored the bill in 2009. He had this to say: “We’ve moved from Braille to broadband, from tracing words in palms to navigating a Palm Pilot.  Americans with disabilities need access to the latest 21st century communications and video tools to compete in the job market and engage in daily activities that increasingly rely on the latest technologies.”