Coalition for Accessible TechnologyBy Strauss, Karen Peltz; Spiers, Elizabeth; Deaf-Blind American, Vol. 46, No. 4, pp. 30-33
Publication Date: October -December 2007
Article describes the work of the Coalition for Accessible Technology (COAT), a coalition of disability organizations dedicated to ensuring access to emergency digital and Internet-based technologies for people with disabilities through federal legislation. COAT members are seeking a comprehensive communications accessibility federal law that would accomplish the following: (1) Communications access, such as that mandated by Section 255 of the Communications Act, making telephones, fax machines, and other products that use the Internet accessible to people with disabilities; (2) changes to laws pertaining to the Universal Services Fund (USF), a fund to which telephone companies must contribute to help schools and low income and rural communities pay for telecommunication services, to include subsidizing of equipment such as telebrailles and large print text telephones (TTYs) for deaf-blind users; (3) allocation of USF money to help subsidize broadband services, which would make it more affordable for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, and deaf-blind to access video relay services over the Internet and to make direct video calls to each other; and (4) legislative and regulatory changes that would allow individuals to contact emergency 911 centers by text and video. More information, including membership in COAT, can be found at http://www.coataccess.org/.
Published by: American Association of the Deaf Blind (Website:http://www.aadb.org)