FEDERAL AGENCIES AND PROGRAMS
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION (FCC)
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent United States government agency. The FCC was established by the Communications Act of 1934 and is charged with regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable. It is responsible for enforcing Title IV of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The FCC’s jurisdiction covers the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. possessions.
CONSUMER & GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS BUREAU (CGB)
DISABILITY RIGHTS OFFICE (DRO)
The Disability Rights Office (DRO) addresses disability-related telecommunications matters, including telecommunications relay service (TRS) (Section 225), access to telecommunications equipment and services by persons with disabilities (Section 255), access to emergency information, and closed captioning. DRO also provides expert advice and assistance, as required, to other Bureaus and Offices, consumers, industry, and others on issues relevant to persons with disabilities. DRO initiates rulemakings, where appropriate, for the development of disability policy; reviews relevant agenda items and other documents and coordinates with Bureaus and Offices to develop recommendations and propose policies to ensure that communications are accessible to persons with disabilities, in conformance with existing disability laws and policies, and that they support the Commission’s goal of increasing accessibility of communications services and technologies for persons with disabilities.
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH (NIH)
NIH’s mission is to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce the burdens of illness and disability. The goals of the agency are:
· To foster fundamental creative discoveries, innovative research strategies, and their applications as a basis for ultimately protecting and improving health;
· To develop, maintain, and renew scientific human and physical resources that will ensure the Nation’s capability to prevent disease;
· To expand the knowledge base in medical and associated sciences in order to enhance the Nation’s economic well-being and ensure a continued high return on the public investment in research; and
· To exemplify and promote the highest level of scientific integrity, public accountability, and social responsibility in the conduct of science.
NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON DEAFNESS & OTHER COMMUNICATION DISORDERS (NIDCD)
A division of the National Institutes of Health, the NIDCD Information Clearinghouse is a national resource center for information about hearing, balance, smell, taste, voice, speech and language. The clearinghouse serves health professionals, patients, industry and the public.
REGIONAL DISABILITY AND BUSINESS TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE CENTERS
This network of regional centers provide ADA technical assistance to businesses and helps them comply with the ADA.
U.S. ARCHITECTURAL AND TRANSPORATION BARRIERS COMPLIANCE BOARD (ACCESS BOARD)
The Access Board is an independent Federal agency devoted to accessibility for people with disabilities. Created in 1973 to ensure access to federally funded facilities, the Board is now a leading source of information on accessible design. The Board develops and maintains design criteria for the built environment, transit vehicles, telecommunications equipment, and for electronic and information technology. It also provides technical assistance and training on these requirements and on accessible design and continues to enforce accessibility standards that cover federally funded facilities.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
The Commerce Department’s mission is to help make American businesses more innovative at home and more competitive abroad.
NATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION ADMINISTRATION (NTIA)
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration is an agency in the U.S. Department of Commerce that serves as the executive branch agency principally responsible for advising the President on telecommunications and information policies. In this role, NTIA frequently works with other Executive Branch agencies to develop and present the Administration’s position on these issues. Since its creation in 1978, NTIA has been at the cutting edge of critical issues. In addition to representing the Executive Branch in both domestic and international telecommunications and information policy activities, NTIA also manages the Federal use of spectrum; performs cutting-edge telecommunications research and engineering, including resolving technical telecommunications issues for the Federal government and private sector; and administers infrastructure and public telecommunications facilities grants.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
The mission of the Department of Education is to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access. It engages in four major types of activities:
· Establishes policies related to federal education funding, administers distribution of funds and monitors their use.
· Collects data and oversees research on America’s schools.
· Identifies major issues in education and focuses national attention on them.
· Enforces federal laws prohibiting discrimination in programs that receive federal funds.
OFFICE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS
The mission of the Office for Civil Rights is to ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence throughout the nation through vigorous enforcement of civil rights. We serve student populations facing discrimination and the advocates and institutions promoting systemic solutions to civil rights problems. An important responsibility is resolving complaints of discrimination. Agency-initiated cases, typically called compliance reviews, permit OCR to target resources on compliance problems that appear particularly acute. OCR also provides technical assistance to help institutions achieve voluntary compliance with the civil rights laws that OCR enforces. An important part of OCR’s technical assistance is partnerships designed to develop creative approaches to preventing and addressing discrimination.
OFFICE OF SPECIAL EDUCATION AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES (OSERS)
The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) is committed to improving results and outcomes for people with disabilities of all ages. In supporting No Child Left Behind, OSERS provides a wide array of supports to parents and individuals, school districts and states in three main areas: special education, vocational rehabilitation and research.
NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON DISABILITY AND REHABILITATION RESEARCH (NIDRR)
The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) provides leadership and support for a comprehensive program of research related to the rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities. All of our programmatic efforts are aimed at improving the lives of individuals with disabilities from birth through adulthood.
ABLEDATA is an information and referral project that maintains a database of 25,00 assistive technology products. The project also produces fact sheets on types of services and other aspects of assistive technology.
NATIONAL CENTER FOR DISSEMINATION OF DISABILITY RESEARCH (NCDDR)
NCDDR researches and funds approximately 300 projects including: employment outcomes, health and function, technology for access and function, independent living and community integration, associated disability, knowledge dissemination and utilization, capacity building for rehabilitation training, and state technology assistance.
NATIONAL REHABILITATION INFORMATION CENTER (NARIC)
NARIC provides information and referral services on disability and rehabilitation, including searches of the biliographic database REHABDATA and document delivery. NARIC also provides the NIDRR Program Directory and the Compendium of Products by NIDRR Grantees and Contractors.
RERC ON HEARING ENHANCEMENT (RERC-HE)
The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Hearing Enhancement (RERC-HE) is a national project funded by the United States Department of Education, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) in the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (OSERS). The objective of the project is to conduct research, development, and training programs that promote technological solutions to problems confronting people with hearing loss. This mission is addressed by:
· Improving assessment, fitting, availability and use of hearing technologies
· Increasing the quality, availability, and knowledge of AR services
· Training of consumers, service providers, and future researchers, developers and practitioners
· Transferring technology and knowledge to agencies, standards bodies, consumers, and the professions that can subsequently influence the communicative effectiveness of those who are deaf or hard of hearing
RERC ON TELECOMMUNICATIONS ACCESS (RERC-TA)
In October 2004, the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) of the U.S. Department of Education, awarded a five-year, Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) grant to the Trace Research & Development Center, University of Wisconsin – Madison, working in partnership with the Technology Access Program at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. The primary mission of the Telecommunications Access RERC is to advance accessibility and usability in existing and emerging telecommunications products for people with all types of disabilities. Telecommunications accessibility is addressed along all three of its major dimensions: user interface, transmission (including digitization, compression, etc.), and modality translation services (relay services, gateways, etc.). The RERC looks at advances that have both short- and long-term outcomes related to assistive technologies (AT), interoperability, and universal design of telecommunications. The RERC encompasses research and development programs, as well as training, technical assistance, and dissemination activities.
RERC FOR WIRELESS TECHNOLOGIES (RERC-WT)
Funded since 2001, the Wireless RERC (Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center) has become a recognized leader on issues and solutions related to the accessibility and usability of mobile wireless products and services by people with disabilities. The Wireless RERC’s mission is to promote equitable access to and use of wireless technologies by people with disabilities and encourage the adoption of Universal Design in future generations of wireless devices and applications.
REHABILITATION SERVICES ADMINISTRATION (RSA)
The Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) oversees grant programs that help individuals with physical or mental disabilities to obtain employment and live more independently through the provision of such supports as counseling, medical and psychological services, job training and other individualized services. RSA’s major Title I formula grant program provides funds to state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies to provide employment-related services for individuals with disabilities, giving priority to individuals who are significantly disabled.
OFFICE OF SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS (OSEP)
The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) is dedicated to improving results for infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities ages birth through 21 by providing leadership and financial support to assist states and local districts. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) authorizes formula grants to states, and discretionary grants to institutions of higher education and other non-profit organizations to support research, demonstrations, technical assistance and dissemination, technology and personnel development and parent-training and information centers.
DESCRIBED & CAPTIONED MEDIA PROGRAM (DCMP)
DCMP is a free-loan open captioned media program. Deaf and hard of hearing persons, teachers, parents, and others may borrow these materials. Materials include educational (preschool – college) videos and general interest videos (classic movies, special interest topics such as travel, hobbies, recreation, etc.)
NATIONAL INFORMATION CENTER
FOR CHILDREN & YOUTH WITH DISABILITIES (NICHCY)
NICHCY provides fact sheets, state resource sheets and general information to assist parents, educators, caregivers, advocates and others in helping children and youth with disabilities participate as fully as possible at school or home and in their community. Also publishes Technical Assistance Guides, Student Guides, briefing papers and annotated bibliographies on selected topics. Many publications are available in Spanish and all are available on the Internet.
NATIONAL INFORMATION CLEARINGHOUSE
ON CHILDREN WHO ARE DEAF-BLIND (DB-LINK)
DB-LINK is a collaborative effort involving the Helen Keller National Center, Perkins School for the Blind and Teaching Research that collects, organizes and disseminates information related to children and youth (ages 0-21) who are deaf-blind and connects consumers to sources of information about deaf blindness, assistive technology, and deaf-blind people.
PEPNet provides resources and expertise that enhance educational opportunities for people who are deaf or hard of hearing–including those with co-occurring disabilities. PEPNet’s national outreach is coordinated through its four regional centers. At the local level, each state’s contact person is the gateway to the shared knowledge and best practices of the four regions. PEPNet regional centers work collaboratively to provide a broad variety of best practices & resources where and when you need them to enhance educational opportunities. PEPNet offers consultation, training, professional development, cutting edge technical assistance and other resources to educational institutions, including-but not limited to:
· Two- and Four-year Colleges
· Secondary Education Programs
· Community Rehabilitation Programs
· Continuing Education Programs
· Adult Basic Education Programs
· Vocational and Technical Training Programs
PEPNet’s mission is to improve transition services and educational access for students who are deaf or hard of hearing including those with co-occurring disabilities, thus enhancing educational opportunities.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (DHS)
This Department of Homeland Security’s overriding and urgent mission is to lead the unified national effort to secure the country and preserve our freedoms. While the Department was created to secure our country against those who seek to disrupt the American way of life, our charter also includes preparation for and response to all hazards and disasters
OFFICE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS AND CIVIL LIBERTIES (CRCL)
The Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) supports the Department as it secures the nation while preserving individual liberty, fairness, and equality under the law.
CRCL is involved in all of the Department’s missions and performs four key functions to integrate civil rights and civil liberties into Department activities:
· Advising Department leadership, personnel, and partners about civil rights and civil liberties issues, ensuring respect for civil rights and civil liberties in policy decisions and implementation of those decisions.
· Communicating with individuals and communities whose civil rights and civil liberties may be affected by Department activities, informing them about policies and avenues of redress, and promoting appropriate attention within the Department to their experiences and concerns.
· Investigating and resolving civil rights and civil liberties complaints filed by the public.
· Leading the Department’s equal employment opportunity programs and promoting personnel diversity and merit system principles.
FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.
Launched in February 2003, Ready is a national public service advertising (PSA) campaign designed to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to emergencies including natural and man-made disasters. The goal of the campaign is to get the public involved and ultimately to increase the level of basic preparedness across the nation.
TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was created in the wake of 9/11 to strengthen the security of the nation’s transportation systems while ensuring the freedom of movement for people and commerce. Within a year, TSA assumed responsibility for security at the nation’s airports and deployed a Federal workforce to meet Congressional deadlines for screening all commercial airline passengers and baggage. In March 2003, TSA transferred from the Department of Transportation to the Department of Homeland Security. TSA employs a risk-based strategy to secure U.S. transportation systems, working closely with stakeholders in aviation, rail, transit, highway, and pipeline sectors, as well as the partners in the law enforcement and intelligence community. The agency will continuously set the standard for excellence in transportation security through its people, processes, technologies and use of intelligence to drive operations.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT
HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. The Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity administers the Fair Housing Act which prohibits discrimination based on disability when purchasing a house or renting an apartment.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
The mission of the Department of Justice is to “enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law; to ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic; to provide federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior; and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.”
CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION
The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, created in 1957 by the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1957, works to uphold the civil and constitutional rights of all individuals, particularly some of the most vulnerable members of our society. The Division enforces federal statutes prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, disability, religion, familial status and national origin, including Titles II and III of the ADA.
DISABILITY RIGHTS SECTION
The primary goal of the Disability Rights Section is to achieve equal opportunity for people with disabilities in the United States by implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Through its multi-faceted approach toward achieving compliance with the ADA, this Section works to make this goal a reality. The Section’s enforcement, certification, regulatory, coordination, and technical assistance activities, required by the ADA, combined with an innovative mediation program and a technical assistance grant program, provide a cost-effective and dynamic approach for carrying out the ADA’s mandates. The Section also carries out responsibilities under Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act, and Executive Order 12250.
ADA Home Page
This website contains the ADA statute, ADA Title II and III regulations, technical assistance materials, enforcement information, and general ADA information.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR (DOL)
The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.
OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY (ODEP)
This is a web portal for all the various federal programs dealing with issues that affect people with disabilities.
JOB ACCOMMODATION NETWORK
The Job Accommodation Network is a hotline service to help advise employers to provide reasonable accommodation to their employees.
OFFICE OF FEDERAL CONTRACT COMPLIANCE PROGRAMS (OFCCP)
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs enforces Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 with entities that contract with the Federal Government.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (DOT)
The mission of the Department is to Serve the United States by ensuring a fast, safe, efficient, accessible and convenient transportation system that meets our vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people, today and into the future.
OFFICE OF CIVIL RIGHTS(OCR)
The Office of Civil Rights administers the Air Carrier Accessibility Act and Title II of the ADA dealing with public transportation
U.S. EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION (EEOC)
The EEOC oversees Title I of the ADA and Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
U.S. GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION (GSA)
GSA’s mission is to use expertise to provide innovative solutions for our customers in support of their missions and by so doing foster an effective, sustainable, and transparent government for the American people.
CENTER FOR IT ACCOMMODATION
The Center for I.T. Accommodation at the General Services Administration administers Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 covering electronics and information technology
OFFICE OF CITIZEN SERVICES AND INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGIES (OCSIT)
As the U.S. government’s official web portal, USA.gov makes it easy for the public to get U.S. government information and services on the web. USA.gov also serves as the catalyst for a growing electronic government.
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
This website provides information about all bills before the House, all committees of the House, all federal laws, all members of the House, and how members voted on various bills.
This website provides information about all bills before the Senate, all committees of the Senate, all federal laws, all members of the Senate, and how members voted on various bills.
U.S. SUPREME COURT
The Supreme Court is the highest tribunal in the nation for all cases and controversies arising under the Constitution or the laws of the United States. The Court stands as the final arbiter of the law and guardian of constitutional liberties.
This website provides voluminous information about the White House, Air Force One, the President, the Vice-President, the members of the cabinet, the President’s position on various issues of importance, the President’s schedule of activities, and the status of presidential nominations and appointments. It also has a photo gallery of stills and videos concerning daily life in the White House and the activities of the President.