President Obama Signs Historic Communications Accessibility Act, Giving Disabled Americans Access to Popular Technologies

The president signed into law the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, states Blue Wave News . As a result, blind and deaf people will be guaranteed easy access to the kinds of communications technologies most of us depend upon without a second thought.

Under the law, the quality of life will improve for 25 million people who are blind or have difficulty seeing, along with the estimated 36 million people who are deaf or hard of hearing, advocacy groups say. Nondisabled people stand to benefit, too. They may find the devices and screens easier to use. The law sets federal guidelines that require the telecommunications industry to:

—Make getting to the Internet easier by improving the user interfaces on smart phones.

—Provide audible descriptions of on-screen action to help the blind more fully enjoy television.

—Add captions to online TV programming to help the deaf.

—Make the equipment used for Internet telephone calls compatible with hearing aids.

—Add a button or other switch to television remote controls for simpler access to closed captioning on television.

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