Eight projects representing significant innovation in communications technology benefitting people with disabilities received the FCC’s Chairman’s Awards for Advancement in Accessibility, presented by Chairman Julius Genachowski during the ceremony.
Now in their second year, the awards are intended to encourage technological innovation in communication-related areas and to recognize engineers, researchers, and other technologists whose energies and perseverance contribute to technologies that help people with disabilities to obtain and succeed at jobs and participate more actively in the community.
The awards are a project of the FCC’s Accessibility and Innovation Initiative, which is based on a recommendation from the FCC’s 2010 National Broadband Plan. 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.
Awards presented for the development of mainstream or assistive technologies, the development of standards, and the implementation of best practices that foster accessibility. The awards focused on six categories: Consumer Empowerment Information; Mobile Applications; Civic Participation Solutions; Education: College or University; Video Programming; and Geo-Location Solutions. In addition to the winners in these categories, two honorable mentions were recognized.
The Chairman’s 2012 AAA Winners are:
- Consumer Empowerment Information -- Project StAR: Accessible Radio 2012/The Narrator
- Mobile Applications -- WGBH National Center for Accessible Media: "Media Access Mobile"
- Civic Participation Solutions -- Prime III: A Universally Designed Voting Machine
- Education: College or University -- Project: Possibilities SS12: Code for a Cause
- Video Programming -- Accessible Media Inc. (AMI); and Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE)
- Geo-Location Services -- Tiramisu Transit
The Chairman’s 2012 AAA Honorable Mentions are:
- Civic Participation -- Google+ Hangouts
- Mobile Applications -- Virtual Braille Keyboard
The winning projects are displayed in the FCC’s Technology Experience Center along with other cutting-edge technologies that provide access to persons with disabilities from Dec. 19-31. The Technology Experience Center is open to the public and offers the opportunity for visitors to experiment with these technologies.