Communications Act

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Communications Act

Section 255 and Section 251(a)(2) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, require manufacturers of telecommunications equipment and providers of telecommunications services to ensure that such equipment and services are accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities, if readily achievable. These amendments ensure that people with disabilities will have access to a broad range of products and services such as telephones, cell phones, pagers, call-waiting, and operator services that were often inaccessible to many users with disabilities.

Key Laws that Impact Telecommunications
Access for People with Hearing Loss
The Basics You Need to Know

Brenda Battat M.S

Outline of Workshop

  • Laws impacting telecommunications access
  • Provisions of the laws
  • Issues surrounding their implementation
  • Agency oversight of the regulations
  • How to file a complaint

[Read more]

FCC’s Disability Advisory Committee to Convene in June

May 31 2016

HLAA will be at the table for the upcoming meeting of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Disability Advisory Committee (DAC), to be held June 16. At the meeting several recommendations proposed by DAC working groups will be considered by the full DAC. FCC staff will also provide an update regarding current rulemakings and FCC initiatives. These meetings are open to the public and streamed via live captioned webcast. More information can be found on the FCC website.

FCC Consumer Help Center

Jan 13 2015

HLAA Applauds the New FCC Consumer Help Center to Empower Consumers and Streamline Complaints

Consumers got a New Year’s gift from the FCC. Acting Bureau Chief Kris Monteith joined with members of Chairman Wheeler’s staff, Gigi B. Sohn and Diane Cornell, in announcing the launch of the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) new Consumer Help Center in the FCC blog.

Update on the FCC’s Consumer Advisory Committee

Apr 2 2010

HLAA was appointed to the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) Consumer Advisory Committee (CAC) again last year. We provide input on issues that reach the committee such as broadband and truth in billing that the FCC addresses. HLAA also sits on the Disability Workgroup, where we provide recommendations to the FCC on issues impacting people with hearing and vision loss. For more information about the work of the CAC, visit:

FCC’s National Lifeline and Link Up Telephone Discount Awareness Initiative

Sep 22 2009
Catherine W. Seidel is the Chief of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Her letter below was sent to Hearing Loss Association to highlight the importance of Lifeline and Link Up services. Many people, including those with hearing loss, who have been searching for jobs or have recently lost their jobs in the current economic climate, may be able to benefit from this service that helps keep people connected to phone services they need. For more information, read Ms. Seidel’s letter below: 

FCC Re-Appoints HLAA to the Consumer Advisory Committee

Jan 12 2009

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the re-chartering and re-appointment of members to its Consumer Advisory Committee, a federal advisory committee that addresses consumer issues within the jurisdiction of the Commission.

The CAC will focus on the digital transition, consumer protection and education, access by people with disabilities, and impact upon consumers of new and emerging technologies.

Read the FCC’s announcement [View PDF]

HLAA Joins Panel Discussion on Broadband

Oct 16 2008

On November 6, 2009, the Federal Communications Commission will hold a field hearing at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. on disabilities access issues as part of its effort to gather information from experts and consumers for the development of a National Broadband Plan. HLAA will join the panel discussion of the issues. Commissioner Michael Copps will host the hearing, and the public is encouraged to attend and participate.

Read the FCC’s news release [View PDF]

HLAA Submitted Comments to the FCC on Hand Held’s Request for Exemption from the Hearing Aid Compatibility Rule

Feb 1 2007

The Hearing Loss Association submitted comments to the FCC on Hand Held’s request for exemption from the hearing aid compatibility rule for their mobile computing devices including their Dolphin Line of products that have mobile telephone capabilities. Hand Held is a manufacturer of mobile computing devices that integrate data collection and transmission functions. This exemption would potentially set up accessibility barriers in the workforce for people with hearing loss and on that basis the Hearing Loss Association opposed the request.