Call to Action: Keep New Technologies Accessible

Your Help is Needed!
Make Sure New and Future Technologies Are Accessible to Everyone

Closed-captioning mandates, improved built-in accessibility functions for video conferencing, and many other requirements to help people with disabilities are part of the Communications, Video, and Technology Accessibility Act (CVTA) re-introduced in the U.S. Congress.

Introduced by Senator Edward Markey (D-Maine) and Representative Anna Eshoo (D-CA16), this bill will support people with hearing loss, low vision, mobility issues, and other disabilities by ensuring that accessibility requirements keep up with rapid changes in technology.

HLAA is encouraging everyone in the hearing loss community to write to their federal representatives and urge them to sponsor these bills (the bills are the same but have different bill numbers in the Senate and the House). Legislators are on holiday break, and most are local, so it could be a great opportunity to have local conversations.

Contact Congress

 
Contact Washington State Senators:  Ask them to pass Senate bill SB-2494.

Patty Murray
Maria Cantwell

 
Contact your House Member: Ask them to pass House bill HR-4858.

District 1              Suzan DelBene
District 2              Rick Larsen
District 3              Maria Gluesenkamp Perez
District 4              Dan Newhouse
District 5              Cathy McMorris Rodgers
District 6              Derek Kilmer
District 7              Pramila Jayapal
District 8              Kim Schrier
District 9              Adam Smith
District 10            Marilyn Strickland

Congressional reps will only accept emails from people who reside within their districts. They require you to enter a zip code and then proceed to the message site if your zip code matches their databases. See a map of the congressional districts here if you aren’t sure who your member of Congress is.

Thank you for taking action on behalf of yourself and others with hearing loss!

Key Talking Points

Use these in emails to Congress and also when you see your member of Congress in person at meetings. Please also share a personal story, if you have one, to emphasize the need. But even if you don’t have a story, let them know you want them to vote for this bill. You can copy and paste these points below, and we encourage you to use your own words, too.

  • Accessibility requirements for people with disabilities have not kept pace with changing technologies.
  • The CVTA will enhance communications, video and technology accessibility for people with disabilities.
  • The CVTA would require closed captioning for online video programming, the same as is now required for television.
  • The CVTA would require devices that display video programming, such as televisions and computers, to make it easy to activate and customize closed captioning and audio description preferences.
  • The CVTA would empower the FCC to ensure that accessibility regulations keep pace with emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality platforms, into the future.

Thank you to the Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology (COAT) for their work, especially the sample letter above.

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