(by Sanam Analouei, Colorado Law 2L)
As the United States embarks on the ambitious journey to transform its emergency service infrastructure with Next Generation 911 (NG911), I developed a white paper delving into the pressing accessibility concerns surrounding this life-saving system, especially for people who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, or Deaf Blind (D/HH, or DB). The white paper explores the promises and pitfalls of NG911, revealing a landscape fraught with unresolved issues that could leave people in the D/HH or DB community struggling to access vital emergency services. The paper is divided into two sections: pre and on-call issues and post-call concerns.
Continue reading “Canvassing the Current and New Accessibility Issues Arising from 911’s Transition to NG911”
(by Veronica Phifer, Colorado Law 2L)
Today, TLPC student attorneys Veronica Phifer, Tanner Kohfield, and Xelef Botan posted a white paper, developed in collaboration with the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), dispelling the urban legend that educational and health care institutions can avoid providing of third-party American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters and captioning services during videoconferences under the guise of protecting the privacy rights of people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or DeafBlind.
First, we explained that there is no generally applicable federal privacy law that applies in these contexts. Next, we explained that sectoral privacy laws do not prohibit the use of these services, and that even if these laws impacted the provision of these services, there are effective remedies. These remedies include entities requiring interpreters or closed caption providers to protect the privacy of a student or patient via contract, or, if all else fails, obtaining consent from a patient or a student to use these services.
(by Jackson McNeal, Colorado Law 2L)
Continue reading “FCC Approves Changes to Carceral Communications”
On September 29th, the FCC approved a Report and Order making substantive changes that improve access to relay services eligible for funding through the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) for incarcerated people with disabilities, while also seeking comment on further reforms to expand the provision of communications services for incarcerated people with disabilities.
Today, the TLPC filed comments on behalf of its client, Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. (TDI), and a coalition of more than 20 accessibility advocacy and research organizations before the Federal Commmunications Commission. The comments urge the FCC to proceed with ensuring the accessibility and usability of video conferencing services by finalizing a decade-long pending rulemaking on the scope of “interoperable video conferencing services” governed by the FCC’s rules under the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act.
July 18, 2022 update: the TLPC filed reply comments on the same matter—see the bottom of the post.
With the assistance of John Jang, Peter Troupe, and Victoria Venzor, the TLPC filed comments and reply comments on behalf of our client, Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. (TDI) and a broad coalition of accessibility advocacy and research organizations urging the FCC to require improvements to the accessibility of closed captioning display settings. The comments and reply comments can be downloaded below.
Continue reading “TLPC Submits Comments and Reply Comments at FCC on Behalf of Accessibility Coalition”
Led by Colorado Law student attorneys John Jang, Victoria Venzor, and Peter Troupe, the TLPC today filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on behalf of a coalition of accessibility, security, and repair individuals and organizations, supporting the lawsuit of security researcher Dr. Matthew Green and others, represented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, over a controversial copyright law. The brief urged the court to conclude that Section 1201 of Title 17 of the U.S. Code, added by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, violates the First Amendment by chilling fair uses aimed at making copyrighted works accessible to people with disabilities, researching security vulnerabilities in computer software, and repairing software-enabled vehicles and devices. Section 1201 prohibits the circumvention of technological protection measures (TPMs) on copyrighted works, requiring accessibility, security, and repair organizations to pursue exemptions in a burdensome triennial rulemaking conducted by the U.S. Copyright Office of the Library of Congress. The brief details the substantive and procedural harms of Section 1201 and the rulemaking to the First Amendment rights of people with disabilities, disability services organizations and libraries, security researchers, and ordinary consumers and repair professionals.
(by Cameron Benavides, TLPC Student Attorney)
In consultation with HEARD and on behalf of our client Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. (TDI) and a coalition of numorous deaf and hard of hearing advocacy and research organizations, the TLPC filed comments and reply comments in the Federal Communications Commission’s pending proceeding on addressing the accessibility of communications systems in carceral facilities.
Continue reading “TLPC Submits Comments on Carceral Communications Accessibility for Accessibility Coalition”
(by Dakotah Hamilton, TLPC Student Attorney)
On June 7th, the TLPC and the Communications and Technology Law Clinic (CTLC) at Georgetown Law filed a comment on behalf of 22 accessibility advocacy and research organizations, including TLPC and CTLC client Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. (TDI), in response to the Federal Communications Commission’s public notice to revisit many of its rules under the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA). The comment, drafted by Professor Blake E. Reid, TLPC Director, and Professor Laura Moy, CTLC Director, with assistance from TLPC student attorneys Dakotah Hamilton, Rachel Hersch, and Scott Goodstein and CTLC staff attorney Michael Rosenbloom and student attorney Ellen Gardiner, comprehensively reviewed the past decade of FCC proceedings implementing the CVAA as well as some dating back to the Telecommunications Act of 1996, spanning more than two dozen dockets.
The comment identifies numorous specific priorities the FCC should consider for the accessibility of video programming, communications, and hearing device accessibility, including bolstering the availability of interpretation and captioning for video conferencing platforms and expanding captioning requirements for video distributed online. The comment also calls for dedicated inquiries into accessibility barriers facing people who are deaf or hard of hearing and have multiple disabilities, older people who are deaf or hard of hearing, and people who are deaf or hard of hearing and living on rural or tribal lands or in U.S. territories. The comment also urges the Commission to emphasize supervised multistakeholderism, centering the civil rights of people with disabilities, vigorous enforcement, and reporting to Congress.
(by Scott Goodstein, Colorado Law 3L)
On April 5, 2021, the TLPC—on behalf of the Association of Transcribers and Speech-to-Text Providers (ATSP), along with ATSP’s past president Jason Kapcala and Jonathan Band of the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA), presented at the Eighth Triennial Section 1201 Rulemaking Hearing in support of the Proposed Class 3 exemption to the anti-circumvention provisions of Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Section 1201 prohibits users from circumventing technological protective measures (TPMs) that control access to copyrighted works, but allows them to apply for and receive temporary exemptions for a variety of noninfringing uses. The petition for the Proposed Class 3 exemption was filed on behalf of ATSP and in partnership with the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) and the LCA.
Continue reading “TLPC Advocates for Expansion of Video Accessibility Exemption to Section 1201 of the DMCA”
On April 5, 2021, the TLPC, on behalf of the American Council of the Blind (ACB) and a coalition of other organizations, appeared at a hearing before the U.S. Copyright Office to urge expansion of an existing exemption from the the anticircumvention measures of Section of 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) that allows the remediation of e-books into accessible formats. The expansions were designed to help the U.S. fulfill its obligations under the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled. The public hearing was one of the final stages in the eighth triennial rulemaking proceeding under Section 1201, which provides that the Librarian of Congress, upon the recommendation of the Register of Copyrights, may adopt temporary exemptions to section 1201’s prohibition against circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works.
Continue reading “TLPC Advocates for Expansion of E-Book Accessibility Exemption to Section 1201 of the DMCA”