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Phone Monopoly Ends – Deregulation Begins (1984 – 1987)

(1984) US Department of Justice rules AT&T break-up, forming one long distance company and seven regional Baby Bell companies. US Access Board find Federal institutions not accessible to TTY users. President Reagan reappoints David Meyers to Access Board to research TTY technology and push for TTYs in public facilities. The Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act of 1984 requires polling places across the United States to be accessible to citizens with disabilities during federal elections.

(1985) State telecommunication equipment distribution programs intensifies competition among TTY manufactur­ers

(1986) FDA approves sale of 22 channel cochlear implants. Deaf actress, Marlee Matlin wins Oscar for role in Children of a Lesser God film. Gallaudet College attains University status. The Air Carrier Access Act is signed into law, including rights for air travelers with dis­abilities.

(1987) California opens first 24/7 statewide toll-free relay service in the U.S. Association of Late Deafened Adults (ALDA) founded.