If you are unable to access telecommunications, advanced telecommunications services or equipment, or mobile phone internet browsers because of your disability, you can contact the FCC for help, using the request for dispute assistance (RDA) form on the FCC’s website.
The RDA process is only available for accessibility concerns regarding telecommunications, advanced communications services and equipment, and mobile phone internet browsers.
What are telecommunications services and equipment?
Telecommunications services and equipment must be accessible and usable, if readily achievable (in other words, possible).
- Telecommunications services include the following: regular telephone calls, call waiting, speed dialing, call forwarding, computer-provided directory assistance, call monitoring, caller identification, call tracing and repeat dialing, and voice mail and interactive voice response systems that provide callers with menus of choices.
- Equipment includes end-user devices and associated apps used to provide telecommunications services such as telephones, computers, tablets, and mobile phones.
What are advanced communications services and equipment?
Advanced communications services (ACS) must be accessible and usable, if achievable (in other words, if possible). ACS includes:
- Interconnected voice-over Internet protocol service (VoIP), such as home phone service provided by an Internet service provider.
- Non-interconnected VoIP service, such as using a computer to engage in voice communication over the internet.
- Electronic messaging service, such as text messaging, instant messaging, or email.
- Advanced communications services are provided through end-user devices such as telephones, computers, tablets, mobile phones, and apps loaded on these devices.
Which internet browsers are covered?
Internet browsers that are installed on mobile phones must be accessible to, and usable by, people who are blind or visually impaired, if readily achievable (in other words, possible).
What does it mean to be "accessible" and "usable"?
To be accessible, the main functions of a product or service must be locatable, identifiable and operable by individuals with varying abilities. All information necessary to operate and use the product or service must have an accessible output or display.
Individuals with disabilities must be able to learn about and operate a product or service's features in order for a service or product to be considered usable. Users must also be able to access information and documentation about the product or service, including instructions and user guides. In addition, companies must provide access to support services, such as technical support hotlines and databases, call centers, service centers, repair services and billing services.
Do I need to file an RDA?
You may be able to address your accessibility concern directly by contacting the company, without having to file an RDA. You can access the FCC’s Recordkeeping Compliance Certification and Contact Information Registry by searching the contact database here for the name of your company and contact person.
If you do decide to file and RDA, the best way to file is online at: www.fcc.gov/rdaform. This form requests all of the information that the FCC’s Disability Rights Office will need to assist you. You may also request dispute assistance by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or a letter to:
Federal Communications Commission
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau
Disability Rights Office
45 L Street NE
Washington, DC 20554
After your RDA is filed, FCC staff will contact you to learn more about your accessibility problem. The FCC will work with you and the company for at least 30 days to try to resolve your accessibility problem. If your accessibility problem is not resolved in 30 days, you may either:
- request an additional 30 days for assistance to try to resolve your problem, or
- file an informal complaint with the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau.
You must request an additional 30 days for assistance or file an informal complaint within 60 days after the 30-day time period ends. If you take no action within 60 days, your accessibility case will be closed.
What should I include in my request for dispute assistance?
Your RDA should include:
- Your name, address, telephone number, and email address.
- The name of the service or equipment that is not accessible to or usable by you.
- How or why the service or equipment is not accessible to or usable by you.
- If you contacted the company about your accessibility problem, how the company responded.
- What you would like the company to do to resolve your accessibility problem.
- If communication by telephone or email is not accessible to you, your preferred method of communication.
How can I get help with this process?
If you have questions about filing an RDA, you can contact us by sending an email to email@example.com or by calling 202-418-2517. Individuals who use videophones and are fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) may call the FCC’s ASL Consumer Support Line at (844) 432-2275 (videophone).
For more information about FCC programs to promote accessibility for people with disabilities, visit the FCC's Disability Rights Office website.