Technology and Disability Policy Highlights - February 2020

Date of Publication: 
2020 March

In February, the Accessibility Recordkeeping Compliance Certification And Contact Information Reporting Requirements Public Notice [Docket DA 20-151] was published in the Federal Register, reminding service providers and equipment manufacturers of their accessibility recordkeeping requirements as per Sections 255, 716, or 718 of the Communications Act of 1934 (as amended).  These sections specify accessibility requirements for telecommunications services and equipment, advanced communications services and equipment, and Internet browsers built into mobile phones. Step-by-step filing instructions for new and returning filers are available.

In the legislative space, the National Federation of the Blind urged Congress to pass legislation addressing equal access to autonomous vehicles in a House Committee on Energy and Commerce hearing. The present argument asserts that if technology continues in the direction of complete self-driving without human assistance, then the design should be inclusive so that people with visual disabilities and (other types of disabilities) can benefit from the innovations in autonomous vehicles. At the state level, voting access issues received national attention. West Virginia's Governor Jim Justice and Secretary of State Mac Warner are implementing online ballot-voting measures for people with physical disabilities to reduce polling access issues. But their legislation is not being embraced by cybersecurity experts. In the face of scrutiny, Warner countered that "while no voting system, paper or electronic is immune to vulnerabilities, it would take bad actors being near every voter's phone and require a large amount of resources."

In Wireless RERC news, we are accepting paper abstracts to be considered for a special issue of the Assistive Technology Journal. Read the full call for papers for details and deadlines. We also launched the 2020 Survey of User Needs (SUN). This latest version of the SUN collects information about wearables, "smart" home technologies, and other next-generation wirelessly connected devices. If you have a disability, please consider taking this survey.

This issue also includes news about CSUN20, inclusive play, game design, universal design, Sign-Line, Magic Leap, IPAWS, ScripTalk, emergency management, 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.