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Deaf President Now Leads To More Opportunities (1988 – 1992)

(1988) Deaf President Now protest at Gallaudet Univer­sity leads to selection of I. King Jordan as the first deaf president. President Reagan signs Dual Party Relay Ser­vice Act to expand Federal Relay Service and the Telecommunications Accessibility Enhance­ment Act to enhance federal telecommunication services for individuals with hearing and speech impairments. The Fair Housing Act amended to prohibit discrimi­nation against people with disabilities seeking housing

(1989) President George H.W. Bush makes first call on expanded Fed­eral Relay Service. Judge Harold Greene waives long-distance restric­tions for the “Baby Bells” allowing them to provide relay services. Gal­laudet University celebrates 125th year by hosting Deaf Way.

(1990) President George H.W. Bush signs the Television Decoder Circuitry Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which forbids discrimination in employment, government services and public accommodations. ADA also requires all phone companies to provide relay services (Title IV) and mandates that the FCC estab­lish and enforce minimum standards for telecommunication relay services (TRS). The Association for Late Deafened Adults hosts ALDACon II in 1990, which is the first totally acces­sible conference for both deaf and hard of hearing people, including sign language interpreters, captioning and computer assisted real-time translation (CART).

(1991) US House of Representatives begins caption­ing its floor proceedings on C-SPAN. The US Dept. of Education sponsors national conference on local news captioning.

(1992) 49 states and DC establish 24/7 TRS services.