On Dec. 2, 2014, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the establishment of a new federal advisory committee, the Disability Advisory Committee (DAC), which will provide advice and recommendations to the Commission on a wide array of disability issues within the FCC’s jurisdiction.  The term of the DAC will be for a period of two years, with an expected starting date during the first quarter of 2015.

The DAC will provide a means for stakeholders with interests in accessibility issues to exchange ideas, facilitate the participation of consumers with disabilities in proceedings before the Commission, and assist the Commission in educating the greater disability community and covered entities on disability-related matters.  The Committee is expected to keep the Commission apprised of current and evolving communications issues for persons with disabilities.  Issues to be considered by the Committee may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Telecommunications relay services
  • Closed captioning
  • Video description
  • Access to televised emergency information
  • Access to video programming apparatus
  • Access to telecommunications services and equipment
  • Access to advanced communications services and equipment
  • Hearing aid compatibility
  • Access to 911 emergency services
  • The National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program
  • The impact of IP and other network transitions on people with disabilities

Claude Stout, Executive Director, TDI, said, “We are thrilled that the FCC is proceeding with its plans to have a Disability Accessibility Committee.  The Committee will have a vital role in giving advice and recommendations on how best the FCC conducts its ongoing work on our access needs in telecommunications and media.  The members of the Committee will get to meet with the key players within the FCC bureaucracy, and this will lend itself for a more productive, working relationship between Americans who have disabilities, and the Commission. This is another fine example of why the Commission remains the best role model federal agency in promoting, developing, and implementing disability access policy.  FCC continues to generate the most progressive impact on our higher standards of living, and raising the bar on the role and responsibilities of the business community and the state/local government sector.  We will work with the Commission to fully meet the promise and potential of the Committee’s charge as a federal advisory committee.”

Nominations for DAC membership must be submitted to the FCC no later than Jan. 12, 2015.  

Procedures for submitting nominations are set forth in “FCC Announces the Establishment of the Disability Advisory Committee and Solicits Nominations for Membership:” Word | PDF

Members of the public may address the Committee or may send written comments to: Elaine Gardner, Designated Federal Officer of the Committee, at [email protected].