FCC Creates Disability Advisory Committee

The FCC is creating a Disability Advisory Committee and will accept nominations for members through Jan. 12, 2015.

The new committee will be a place where consumers and stakeholders can make recommendations and get feed back on issues ranging from device accessibility and emergency services to hearing aid compatibility, closed captioning and video description.

Emergency services is a particular issue in the transition to IP networks and new tech support of old tech critical communications.

The commission will use the committee for "advice, technical support, and recommended proposals on those issues and more."

The FCC is looking for CEOs and CTOs to serve two-year terms on the committee, with at least three one-day meetings per year and at least one working group or subcommittee meeting, which can be conducted informally. The likely start date for the new committee is first-quarter 2015.

Anyone interest in nominating someone or serving can check out fcc.gov.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler signaled early on in his tenure that universal and nondiscriminatory access to telecommunications means doing some catch-up work on serving the disabled community.

The FCC unanimously voted in February to require program creators and distributors to make their best efforts to improve the quality of closed captioning. 

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.