[vc_row][vc_column][vc_video link=”https://youtu.be/wlnX3UKeBRQ” el_width=”50″ align=”center”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1616827424349{background-color: #b7d9f4 !important;}”]OTHER

WC 12-375 — Rates for Interstate Inmate Calling Services

[/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”REPLY COMMENTS” font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:left” use_theme_fonts=”yes” css=”.vc_custom_1616827447105{background-color: #f4d2cd !important;}”][vc_column_text]HEARD, with the assistance of TDI’s legal representation, filed reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission, about the accessibility of the phone system for incarcerated people who are deaf, hard of hearing, DeafBlind, speech disabled, or who have other disabilities.

[see below, under Tags: for full list of signatories][/vc_column_text][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1616827684905{margin-top: 10px !important;}”]URL below is to the actual filing document on FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System [/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]https://ecfsapi.fcc.gov/file/10116150044158/2021.01.15%20Accessibility%20Coalition%20Carceral%20Communications%20Reply%20Comments%20final.pdf[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Special Thanks to:  SAMUELSON-GLUSHKO TECHNOLOGY LAW & POLICY CLINIC[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Our reply comments noted there were many filings from media, religious groups, disability rights advocates, and civil rights organizations all encouraging the Commission to update the rules requiring Inmate Calling Services (ICS) providers to install modern and accessible telecommunications equipment and services in carceral facilities.

It is clearly shown that ICS providers and carceral officials refuse to provide updated communication services for incarcerated people with disabilities. We urge the Commission to use its clear authority under Section 225 of the Communications Act – to make the telephone network accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing or who have speech impairments.

ICS providers must be held responsible for their part in providing accessible equipment and services to carceral facilities.  Providers cannot blame carceral officials and third providers for accessibility issues. ICS providers cannot continue to offer TTYs as an excuse to not provide other accessible equipment.

We urge the Commission to require ICS providers to provide reports on their progress of installing functional and accessible equipment in carceral facilities. Record-keeping is the only way to make sure that incarcerated people with communication disabilities receive access to equipment and service to make calls.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]