Improving Communication for Incarcerated People
Improving Communication for Incarcerated People. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said, “Incarcerated people who are deaf, hard of hearing, deafblind, or who have a speech disability are in a prison within a prison.”
TDI agrees and we were overjoyed when we learned that on September 29, 2022, the FCC Chairs have passed the Rates for Interstate Inmate Calling Services, WC Docket No. 12-375, Fourth Report and Order and Sixth Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (September 29, 2022). What does this mean? This recent order affirms the right to access communications for deaf and people with disabilities while incarcerated. FCC now requires all communication access providers who are eligible for TRS funds in any correctional facility that has broadband connection and a part of the carceral system with more than 50 incarcerated people to have to provide access to all relay services including VRS; as well as point to point video calls using ASL.
This is a necessary step in their civil rights to be able to make telephone calls to their family, loved ones to stay connected as well as their lawyers to explore their legal rights. We thank the commission for acting and especially acknowledge the persistent advocacy of incarcerated disabled people and their loved ones, who were fundamental to pushing the FCC to take this long-awaited action.
Calling Services for Carceral Settings (WC Docket No. 12-375)
Special Thanks to:
Samuelson- Glushko Technology Law & Policy Clinic
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TDI represents 48 million Americans who have some degree of hearing loss.
We welcome all members of the deaf and hard of hearing community (DHH): deaf, hard of hearing, late-deafened, deafblind, lip-readers, cued-users, veterans with hearing loss, senior citizens, deafdisabled, and/or having additional sensory, mobility, cognitive or other communication disabilities.
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HEARD, TDI, National Association of the Deaf, Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD),