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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).

July 23, 1999

Audrey Spivack at (202) 418-0500

At White House Forum Chairman Kennard Reaffirms Commitment to ADA for the Information Age

Washington, D.C. -- Noting that "every time we make a telecommunications service accessible, it's like opening up a door of opportunity unlocking our country's greatest asset-- the potential of our people," William E. Kennard, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reaffirmed the FCC's commitment to including people with disabilities in the information revolution. Chairman Kennard spoke today at the White House Forum on Disability and Cultural Diversity.

Chairman Kennard pointed out that at its July 14 meeting, the FCC adopted rules that will build the first curb cut on the Information Highway, ensuring accessiblity for people with disabilities. There will now be access to products, access to information about products, access to the choices that every American wants, needs and has a right to use, Chairman Kennard said.

He added that none of this would have been possible without the courage and commitment of the thousands of Americans with disabilities around the country who told the FCC what they needed. He cited examples such as the California woman who is hard of hearing and found that interactive menus that many companies use don't make her life easier, they make it more frustrating; a woman from Indiana who has difficulty in finding a cellular phone that can work with her hearing aid; and a deaf woman from Texas who can never find the Telephone Relay Service (TRS) number when she is travelling on business.

Chairman Kennard's prepared statement is attached.

- FCC -