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Your UCP: National October 11, 2003
Technology

For 12 years, Congress has recognized the importance of supporting activities that increase access to assistive technologies, first through the Tech Act in 1988 and then through The Assistive Technology Act of 1998 (ATA). The ATA has helped millions of people with disabilities have access to assistive technology through a number of programs. Unfortunately, a phase-out provision in the ATA will eliminate the original nine states with existing state assistive technology projects by October 2001 if Congress does not act before then.

A proposed amendment would extend funding for another year for the assistive technology projects in these nine states. The nine states that are on the verge of losing funding for their assistive technology projects are: Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska and Utah. The following year, 14 more states will be eliminated and so on until all states' assistive technology projects are eliminated.

Currently, letters are being sent by national disability organizations encouraging Congress to pass an amendment, and each organization is asking their affiliates to write letters to their Senators and Representatives urging them to pass an amendment. You can join this effort by using the Legislative Action Center.
Documents:
Descriptive Narration Brings The Force Home to Millions with Vision Loss
Re-Authorization of Assistive Technology
Video Description Public Notice
FCC Commissioner Copps Applauds Nationwide 711 for Telecommunications Relay Services
Background on State Assistive Technology Grant Programs and Leveraging of Non-Federal Funds: Need for Continued Federal Role
UCP Signs on to Independent Sector Comments on IRS Regulation of Internet
Telecommunication Breakdown: An Overview of Challenges Facing Persons with Disabilities
Video Programming Distributors Obligated to Make Emergency Information Accessible to Persons with Hearing Disabilities
Guidance Available on Complying with Section 508 Access Requirements
Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards
Telecommunications Act Accessibility Guidelines
Telecommunications Access for People with Disabilities Fact Sheet
AAC and Cell Phone Usage: An Off-the-Shelf Solution
UCP Applauds Revised Telecommunication Relay Service Rules Incorporating "Speech to Speech" Service
Federal IT For the Disabled Gets Boost, WPost 6/20/01
Bush Announces Two Disability Initiatives
People with Disabilities Still Lag on Internet Usage, Center for An Accessible Society 1/22/02
Provision of Improved Telecommunications Relay and Speech-to-Speech Services for People with Hearing and Speech Disabilities
Next Meeting of the Consumer/Disability Telecommunications Advisory Committee
Wireless Communications Essential to Bridging "Communications Gap" for People with Physical and Developmental Disabilities
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC): Looking Back and to the Future
Telecommunications Company Launches Free Video Relay Service
President's Executive Memorandum on Assistive Technology Mobility Devices
Action Alert: Tech Act Appropriations in House of Representatives
Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association Expands www.accesswireless.org
What You Should Know About Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS)
Dept. of Commerce Unveils Initiative to Advance Assistive Technology Industry and Meet Technology Needs of Disabled Americans

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