Skip Navigation

Federal Communications Commission

English Display Options

Commission Document

FCC Honors Innovators in Accessibility Communications Technology

Download Options

Released: December 19, 2012

Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

445 12th Street, S.W.


Washington, D. C. 20554

TTY: 1-888-835-5322

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).

December 19, 2012 Michael Snyder at (202) 418-0997

Demonstrations of Technologies to Be Displayed Through December 31 in the Commission’s
Technology Experience Center (TEC)
Washington, D.C. – At a ceremony today, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski celebrated the
innovative achievements of technologists whose work in communication-related areas benefits
people with disabilities, bestowing the second Awards for Advancement in Accessibility
(Chairman's AAA).
The Chairman’s AAA, a project of the FCC’s Accessibility and Innovation Initiative (A&I
Initiative), based on a recommendation of the FCC’s 2010 National Broadband Plan, recognizes
outstanding private and public sector ventures in accessibility and innovation. The A&I Initiative
seeks to facilitate dialogue among industry, assistive technology companies, app developers,
government representatives, and consumers to allow stakeholders to share best practices and
solutions for accessible communications technologies.
The Chairman today thanked the winners, saying: “The work you have done and will continue to
do to advance accessibility efforts mean that many more individuals can now vote, operate their
radios, enjoy cultural experiences, catch the bus, and benefit from video description – things that
they may not have been able to do before. Your efforts mean that people with disabilities can
enjoy the wonder of our nation’s emerging communications technologies, and ultimately lead
better lives.”
Seven winners and two honorable mentions were recognized, chosen in six different categories:
Consumer Empowerment Information; Mobile Applications; Civic Participation Solutions;
Education: College or University; Video Programming; and Geo-Location Solutions.

Winners of 2012 Chairman’s AAA are:

Consumer Empowerment Information -- Project StAR: Accessible Radio 2012/The


: This AM/FM/HD radio follows the principle of universal design by providing
simple, tactile controls that talk so that people who are blind or visually impaired can control

the user interfaces on their radio.

Neely Oplinger


Metropolitan Washington Ear




Best Buy


Al Shuldiner



accepted the award.

Mobile Applications -- WGBH National Center for Accessible Media: "Media Access

: This mobile technology enhances the user experience for multimedia presentations
at cultural institutions, museums, exhibits, or other venues by providing synchronized text for
people who are deaf or hard of hearing and synchronized audio description for people who
are blind or visually impaired.

Larry Goldberg

from the

WGBH National Center for
Accessible Media

accepted the award.

Civic Participation Solutions -- Prime III: A Universally Designed Voting Machine

This system allows people with visual, hearing, reading, or dexterity disabilities to privately
and independently vote using the same voting machine as everyone else.

Andrea Johnson

from the

Clemson University Human-Centered Computing Lab

accepted the award.

Education: College or University -- Project: Possibility SS12: Code for a Cause

: This
event educates computer science students about accessibility, making these students better
equipped to develop accessible technology solutions for people with disabilities. Accepting
the award:

Sean Goggin



accepted the award.

Video Programming -- Accessible Media Inc. (AMI), and Society of Motion Picture and
Television Engineers (SMPTE)


AMI’s Described Video Guide

builds awareness about
video description while providing an accessible, aggregate daily list of described video
programming to enable individuals who are blind or visually impaired to plan their TV

Robert Pearson


David Errington

accepted the award for



2052 suite of Standards and Recommended Practices for “SMPTE Timed Text”

enable television content delivered over Internet protocol to retain closed
captions for the deaf and hard of hearing communities.

Robert Seidel

accepted the award for



Geo-Location Services -- Tiramisu Transit

: This app, which intelligently crowd-sources
information on bus schedules, timing, and space availability, was written to be compliant
with accessibility guidelines of various platforms and is intended to benefit people with and
without disabilities.

Aaron Steinfeld


Tiramisu Transit

accepted the award.

Honorable mentions are:

Civic Participation -- Google+ Hangouts

: This program allows people who are deaf and
hard of hearing and who communicate in sign language to participate in multi-user video
chat while controlling whose screen they want to view.

Adrienne Biddings



accepted the award.

Mobile Applications -- Virtual Braille Keyboard

: Developed by a team at Stanford
University, this technology innovation allows people who are blind or visually impaired to
use the Braille code for input on the touchscreen of a tablet or other mobile device,
allowing greater access to the world of apps for such individuals.

Many of the winning projects will be displayed in the FCC’s Technology Experience Center
( along with other cutting-edge
technologies that provide access to persons with disabilities, through Dec. 31, 2012.
For more information about the FCC, visit


Note: We are currently transitioning our documents into web compatible formats for easier reading. We have done our best to supply this content to you in a presentable form, but there may be some formatting issues while we improve the technology. The original version of the document is available as a PDF, Word Document, or as plain text.


You are leaving the FCC website

You are about to leave the FCC website and visit a third-party, non-governmental website that the FCC does not maintain or control. The FCC does not endorse any product or service, and is not responsible for, nor can it guarantee the validity or timeliness of the content on the page you are about to visit. Additionally, the privacy policies of this third-party page may differ from those of the FCC.