Workshop: Broadband Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities

9:30 am - 11:30 am EDT
Washington, DC
The goal of the workshop is to promote an open dialogue between the FCC, people with disabilities, advocates for people with disabilities, service providers, and other groups that have a stake in the future of broadband and its accessibility for people with disabilities.
Persons with disabilities already benefit from broadband Internet applications. For instance, accessibility software allows a blind person to “hear” what’s written in text on a computer monitor. Video Relay Service allows a deaf or hard of hearing person to use sign language to converse with a person who does not. Access to broadband Internet promotes telework options for people with mobility or health issues. The workshop will explore, among other things, additional ways in which access to broadband may benefit persons with disabilities.



The following are some of the preliminary topics that will be covered at this workshop. If you would like to discuss any other topics, please send us your suggestions.
  • Challenges persons with disabilities face in gaining access to broadband services
  • The potential for broadband services (including Internet-based telecommunications relay services) to enhance the communications options available to persons with disabilities
  • Economic, educational, and other benefits of making broadband services more available to persons with disabilities
  • Methods to incorporate universal design features into equipment and software to ensure that they are accessible
  • Experiences about ways to serve individuals with disabilities through broadband
  • Funding from other sources that can help drive broadband adoption among persons with disabilities
  • Use of broadband to drive health care, education and job training to persons with disabilities


9:30 am Welcome and Introductions Blair Levin, Executive Director, Omnibus Broadband Initiative 
9:45 am Logistics Cheryl J. King, Deputy Chief, Disability Rights Office, FCC 
10:00 am Town Hall FCC staff will pose questions to the audience in three categories:
  • The Broadband Marketplace Today for Individuals with Disabilities
  • Broadband's Potential for Individuals with Disabilities
  • Strategies for Achieving Full Access for Individuals with Disabilities 
11:30 am Open Microphone for Comments from the Audience 
12:00 noon Adjournment 

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