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Chairman Wheeler Honors Innovators in Accessibility

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Released: June 9, 2014


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This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.

See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).


JUNE 9, 2014 Michael Snyder at (202) 418-0997




Award-Winning Technology Displayed at M-Enabling Summit

Washington, D.C. – FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler today announced winners of the third annual Awards for

Advancement in Accessibility (Chairman's AAA), which honors innovators who develop communications

technology for people with disabilities. The Chairman presented the awards at a ceremony on June 9, 2014 at the

M-Enabling Summit at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel in Arlington, Va., where the award-

winning technology was displayed.

The Chairman’s AAA, a project of the FCC’s Accessibility and Innovation Initiative (A&I Initiative), recognizes

outstanding private and public sector ventures in communications technology accessibility and innovation. The

Chairman’s AAA is part of the A&I Initiative’s goal to facilitate ongoing exchanges among industry, assistive

technology companies, app developers, government representatives and consumers to share best practices and

solutions for accessible communications technologies.

“The potential of broadband-enabled technology to improve the lives of Americans living with disabilities is

almost limitless – but only if that technology is accessible,” said Chairman Wheeler.

“I’m glad that these awards

can help spark the development of new and creative technologies that furthers the important goal of making

communications accessible for all Americans.”

Winners were chosen for seven categories: Advanced Communication Services (ACS), Employment

Opportunities, Closed Captions, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Mobile Web Browsers, Social Media

and Video Description.

Winners of 2014 Chairman’s AAA

Advanced Communication Services (ACS)

Braille Plus 18

Braille Plus 18, developed by the American Printing House for the Blind, is a portable tablet/communication

device with an 18-cell Braille display that is the world’s first Android device designed specifically for individuals

who are blind or visually impaired.

Closed Captions

Adobe Primetime

Adobe Primetime, developed by Adobe Systems, is a set of tools for online video distribution, playback, and

analysis that are used to support the provision of closed captions on multiple online platforms and devices,

including TVs, PCs, set top boxes, tablets, phones and other video devices and players.


Employment Opportunities

Texas Multi-Agency Office 2010 Training Collaboration

"Creating Accessible Microsoft Office 2010 Documents," developed by the Texas Multi-Agency Office 2010

Training Collaboration, and hosted by the Texas Governor's Committee on People with Disabilities, is a free,

Web-based set of accessible training modules offering step-by-step instructions for creating captioned videos,

MP-3 voice recordings and transcripts in Word and PDF formats. The collaborative effort takes advantage of

social media and low-cost technology to teach accessible design of popular electronic document formats in the


Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Game Accessibility Guidelines

Game Accessibility Guidelines is a straightforward developer-friendly set of free guidelines to foster access by

people with disabilities across the full spectrum of gaming products and ensure the quality-of-life benefits of

interactive entertainment are open to as wide a range of people as possible. The guidelines have a strong emphasis

on intellectual and learning disabilities, including techniques for enhancing in-game communication ranging from

dyslexia-friendly typography to symbol based chat and visual map-based messaging.

Mobile Web Browsers

Capti Narrator

Capti Narrator, developed by Charmtech Labs LLC, simplifies mobile Web browsing and makes iOS devices

more accessible by enabling people with disabilities to listen to news, e-books and other documents anywhere and

at any time.

Social Media


Easy Chirp, developed by Dennis Lembree, is a free Web app that facilitates communicating via Twitter and is

optimized for users with disabilities. Optimization examples include: proper coding for screen reader use by

people who are blind, high contrast; large text and zoom support for people with low vision; and other aspects to

better enable access by people with motor and cognitive disabilities. Most recently, Easy Chirp added a feature

which provides a method to tweet an image with alternative text.

Video Description

YouDescribe and the Descriptive Video Exchange (DVX)

YouDescribe, developed by the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, is a website and application protocol

interface (API) for creating and playing crowd-sourced, synchronized video descriptions of YouTube videos.

For more information on the M-Enabling Summit, please visit

For more information about the FCC, visit


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