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Statutory Language From the Telecommunications Act

SECTION 255. ACCESS BY PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES.

`(a) DEFINITIONS- As used in this section--

  1. DISABILITY- The term `disability' has the meaning given to it by section 3(2)(A) of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12102(2)(A)).
  2. READILY ACHIEVABLE- The term `readily achievable' has the meaning given to it by section 301(9) of that Act (42 U.S.C. 12181(9)).
`(b) MANUFACTURING- A manufacturer of telecommunications equipment or customer premises equipment shall ensure that the equipment is designed, developed, and fabricated to be accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, if readily achievable.
`(c) TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES- A provider of telecommunications service shall ensure that the service is accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, if readily achievable.
`(d) COMPATIBILITY- Whenever the requirements of subsections (b)and (c) are not readily achievable, such a manufacturer or provider shall ensure that the equipment or service is compatible with existing peripheral devices or specialized customer premises equipment commonly used by individuals with disabilities to achieve access, if readily achievable.
`(e) GUIDELINES- Within 18 months after the date of enactment of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board shall develop guidelines for accessibility of telecommunications equipment and customer premises equipment in conjunction with the Commission. The Board shall review and update the guidelines periodically.
`(f) NO ADDITIONAL PRIVATE RIGHTS AUTHORIZED- Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize any private right of action to enforce any requirement of this section or any regulation thereunder. The Commission shall have exclusive jurisdiction with respect to any complaint under this section.

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