|Federal Communications Commission
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This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).
FCC RELEASES RULES THAT WILL GIVE PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES MORE ACCESS TO TELECOMMUNICATIONS
Washington, DC Today, the FCC released the rules and policies that will require
manufacturers of telecommunications equipment and providers of telecommunications
services to ensure that such equipment and services are accessible to and useable by
persons with disabilities, if readily achievable. These rules, which were adopted by the
Commission July 15, 1999, implement Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act of
1996 and Section 251(a)(2) of the Communications Act of 1934.|
These rules will give people with disabilities access to a broad range of products and services such as telephones, cell phones, pagers, call-waiting, and operator services, that they cannot use today.
These rules represent the most significant opportunity for people with disabilities since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990. The rules released today require manufacturers and service providers to design telecommunications equipment and services with the needs of people with disabilities in mind. The FCC notes that access to telecommunications can bring independence.
The rules are available on the FCC's web site at: www.fcc.gov/dtf.
The rules become effective 70 days after publication in the Federal Register.
Common Carrier Bureau contact: Ellen Blackler at (202) 418-0491, TTY 202-418-0485.
Docket WT 96-198