The Disability Rights Office addresses disability-related matters, including access to telecommunications services and equipment; hearing aid compatibility; access to advanced communications services and equipment; access to Internet browsers built into mobile phones; telecommunications relay services; the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program; accessible video programming and video programming apparatus (access to televised emergency information, closed captioning on television and television programs on the Internet, video description, and accessible user interfaces, text menus, and program guides).

DRO provides expert advice and assistance to other Commission bureaus and offices, consumers, industry and others on issues relevant to persons with disabilities. DRO initiates rulemaking where appropriate. DRO also reviews relevant agenda items and other documents and coordinates with Bureaus and Offices to develop recommendations and propose policies to ensure that communications are accessible to persons with disabilities, in conformance with existing disability laws and policies, and to ensure that they support the Commission’s goal of increasing accessibility of communications services and technologies for persons with disabilities.

Disability Advisory Committee

The DAC provides advice and recommendations to the FCC on a wide array of disability issues within its jurisdiction.

Direct Video Communications

Our ASL Consumer Support Line allows users to make video calls directly to the FCC for assistance and information about issues under the FCC’s jurisdiction.

Text to 9-1-1 in ASL Video

If you have any questions, concerns, or need assistance in regard to disability issues relating to telecommunications please do not hesitate to contact us at If your disability prohibits you from filing a comment please send your e-filing comments to with your address and telephone number included. If you need to reach a member of the Disability Rights Office please call 202-418-2517.

Deployment of Text-to-911 and other Next Generation 911

FCC Sets Path for Widespread Text-to-911 Deployment. Action by: the Commission. Adopted: 01/30/2014 by Policy Statement and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. (FCC No. 14-6).

Disability-Related Headlines

This page contains the latest notices, public notices, orders, and news releases at a glance.

Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act

Releases under the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act for increasing the access of persons with disabilities to modern communications.

Accessibility and Innovation Initiative

The mission of the Accessibility and Innovation Initiative is to promote collaborative problem-solving among stakeholders to ensure that people with disabilities reap the full benefits of communications technology. Through workshops, field events, facilitated dialogues, and online tools, the Initiative will foster affordable technology solutions.

Telecommunications Relay Service

The FCC implements Title IV of the Americans With Disabilities Act, which covers Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS). TRS enables a person with a hearing or speech disability to access the telephone system and communicate with persons without such a disability.

Video Relay Service Reform

Releases on the structure and practices of the Video Relay Service (VRS) program.

Ten-digit Numbers Required for VRS and IP Relay Users

After November 12, 2009, any VRS and IP Relay call - other than 911 calls - will not be completed unless the user has registered with a provider to obtain a ten-digit number.

Section 255

The FCC has rules requiring telecommunications manufacturers and service providers to make their products and services accessible to people with disabilities, if readily achievable. Our rules implement Section 255 of the Communications Act.

Closed Captioning of Video Programming on Television (47 CFR § 79.1)

The FCC implements the closed-captioning requirements of the Telecommunications Act, found in Section 713, to make sure that all non-exempt television programs are made accessible for people who are hard of hearing or deaf. Closed captioning is a technology that provides visual text to describe dialogue, background noise, and sound effects on television programming.

Access to Emergency Information on Television (47 CFR § 79.2)

The FCC implements rules that require broadcasters, cable operators, and other multichannel video programming distributors to make emergency information (e.g., pertaining to storms, school closings, and other emergencies) that they provide to their viewers accessible to people who are hard of hearing, deaf, blind or visually impaired.

Closed Captioning of Video Programming Delivered Using Internet Protocol (47 CFR § 79.4)

The FCC implements rules that require closed captioning of video programming delivered using Internet Protocol (IP). These rules require that certain captioned programs shown on TV are captioned when re-shown on the Internet. These rules implement provisions of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010.

Section 504 Handbook

A collection of guidelines, information, and procedures to ensure that the Commission is accessible to individuals with disabilities. The content of this handbook is designed to assist Commission personnel in their efforts to provide such accessibility.

Voice Over Internet Protocol 

Our FAQ about how VoIP allows you to make voice calls using a broadband Internet connection instead of a regular, or analog, phone line.

Hearing Aid Compatibility

Factsheets, contact information and other information about HAC and volume control.

Disability Rights Office Index

DRO headlines, services, advisory committees and other useful information.

Join the AccessInfo Email Llist

A mailing list providing information about how to get regular email updates on accessibility-related FCC actions.

DRO Managers

  • Suzy Rosen Singleton, Chief
  • Eliot Greenwald, Deputy Chief and Special Assistant to Bureau Chief for Telecommunications Relay Services
  • Susan Kimmel, Deputy Chief

Friday, July 22, 2016