TLPC Submits Comments on Carceral Communications Accessibility for Accessibility Coalition

(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.

The comments:

  • Document the critical benefits that access to communication provides for incarcerated people with disabilities and the significant costs that come with a denial of communication;
  • Explain the Commission’s legal authority to ensure accessibility;
  • Urge the Commission to require inmate calling service (ICS) providers to make all modern forms of telecommunication relay service (TRS) and direct video and text communications services available in carceral facilities throughout the United States;
  • Clarify that ICS providers are legally prohibited from charging for TRS communications; and
  • Suggest expanding the expansion of annual reporting requirements to include all accessible communications.