At the July 19th event celebrating the anniversary of the ADA, Chairman Genachowski launched the Accessibility and Innovation Initiative and announced the establishment of the Chairman’s Awards for Advancement of Accessibility (or Chairman’s AAA). The Chairman’s speech, "Empowering Americans with Disabilities Through Technology" was presented at the FCC’s Americans with Disabilities Act 20th Anniversary Celebration. The A&I Initiative and the Chairman’s AAA are based on recommendations in the National Broadband Plan.
The AAA Awards will be given to pioneers in accessibility and innovations. Contenders could be individuals or organizations, public and/or private entities, academics, students, application developers, and represent mainstream or assistive technology industries. In addition to recognizing the development of individual mainstream or assistive technologies introduced into the marketplace, the awards could also recognize other accessibility advancements, such as the development of standards or best practices that foster accessibility, or the development of a new consumer clearinghouse of disability-related products and services. We also believe that teaching modules and tools that could help students learn universal design and other accessibility practices could be worthy of recognition.
The Chairman’s AAA is open to any individual or entity in the public or private sector. This year, the product, service, technology, or practice must be available and promoted publicly until May 1, 2011. In the future, we will consider available and publicly promoted advancements that occur during a 12 month period prior to the award’s announcement.
We encourage individuals and entities to contact us with ideas and nominations, which can be self-nominations or for others. We will be accepting guest blog posts and guest v-logs on this topic, and parties can also file nominations in CG Docket 10-100. We will be forming an internal cross-bureau advisory group to review the nominations and advise the Chairman on the awards. Employees of the Commission and their families are not eligible for this competition. For more information please contact me at AccessInfo [at] fcc [dot] gov. The Chairman looks forward to hearing from you!
(This is cross-posted on Blogband. Please leave comments there.)