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Advisory Committee Names

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Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
News media information 202 / 418-0500
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Internet: http://www.fcc.gov
TTY: 202/418-2555

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).

January 19, 2001
David Fiske at
(202) 418-0513 TTY: (202) 418-2555
Fax: (202) 418-7286
Email: dfiske@fcc.gov

FCC Chairman William E. Kennard Appoints 39 Members to the Commission’s
Consumer/Disability Telecommunications Advisory Committee

FCC Chairman William E. Kennard today appointed 39 members of the Consumer/Disability Telecommunications Advisory Committee (CDTAC) “to help get the consumers’ point-of-view considered earlier in the Commission's proceedings and actions."

“Too often,” he added, “technology changes and consumers are left to react to those changes. The goal of this committee is to try to begin to reverse this process….. to help bring consumers in at the planning stages for technologies and services considered by the Commission, and to expand access by all Americans to the fruits of the Digital Age.”

The 39-member CDTAC includes delegates from groups representing African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, and persons with disabilities, educational institutions, and industry. The Executive Director of the Committee will be Shirley L. Rooker, President of Call for Action, a consumer action group.

Kennard said there was "an outpouring of first-rate talent eager to participate” when the Commission sought nominations to the committee last November. “I am delighted we were able to attract thirty-eight national leaders who will bring a broad range of experience and expertise from the consumer, disability, and industry perspectives."

The committee will advise the Commission on programs that protect consumers against such practices as slamming, cramming, privacy violations and telemarketing abuses. The committee will look at access services, such as telecommunications relay services (TRS), video description, captioning, and low-power FM. The committee also will address the availability to unserved and underserved populations of high-speed Internet access (broadband), digital TV, and advances in cable, satellite, and broadcast.

Deputy Chief of the FCC’s Consumer Information Bureau, Karen Peltz Strauss, said that well-meaning designers of equipment and software often fail to realize that small changes at the design stage can avoid large usability problems later for some consumers, such as older individuals and people with disabilities. “The committee provides an ideal forum in which to discuss and address these issues," she said.

Chairman William E. Kennard announced the Commission's intention to form the committee on June 19, 2000, at the 10th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Torch Relay, in Los Angeles, California. He stated that the committee would make recommendations to the Commission regarding consumer and disability issues within the jurisdiction of the Commission, in order to facilitate the participation of consumers (including people with disabilities and underserved populations) in proceedings before the Commission.

The committee will be organized under, and will operate in accordance with, the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C., App. 2 (1988) (FACA).

It is anticipated that the committee will meet a minimum of two times per year in Washington, D.C., and that approximately three informal subcommittees will be established to facilitate the committee's work between meetings of the full committee. Each committee meeting will be open to the public.

A notice of each meeting will be published in the Federal Register at least fifteen (15) days in advance of the meeting. Records will be maintained of each meeting and made available for public inspection.

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Consumer Information Bureau contact: Scott Marshall, telephone: (202) 418-2809; Fax (202) 418-1414; TTY (202) 418-0179; Email: smarshal@fcc.gov