Research & policy

US House of Representatives passes accessible communications bill

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The US House of Representatives yesterday passed House Resolution 3101, the Twenty-first Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2009, a bill which will update US accessibility regulation for the digital age.

On the 20th anniversary of the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act 1990, the House passed the bill with an overwhelming majority, 348 for to 23 against.  The bill was presided over by Rep Jim Langevin, the first quadriplegic elected to the House, after the rostrum was made wheelchair accessible.  A similar bill has recently passed the Senate’s Commerce Committee, meaning that the bills are close to becoming law.

Among the provisions of the Twenty-first Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2009 are:


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US Attorney General announces proposals for improved accessibility regulations

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US Attorney General Eric Holder announced over the weekend that the US Department of Justice had proposed several improvements in accessibility regulations concerning the Internet, cinemas and emergency calls.

In reference to  changes in technology since the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed in 1990, Mr Holder said, ‘Just as these quantum leaps can help all of us, they can also set us back—if regulations are not updated or compliance codes become too confusing to implement.’

The public have been asked to comment on the following:


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Australian government releases adoption and implementation strategy for WCAG 2.0

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Today, the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) released The Australian Government’s adoption and implementation of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.0 (WCAG 2.0) as part of the Web Accessibility National Transition Strategy.

This comes after the Federal government announcement in February 2010 that it will join the international community by committing to WCAG 2.0 compliance of government websites by 2015.

Further information released today reveals that the Federal government will require all Federal, State and Territory government websites to conform to the Single A level of WCAG 2.0 by the end of 2012. All Federal government websites must conform to the Double A level of WCAG 2.0 by the end of 2015. States and Territories may elect to conform to Double or Triple A levels.


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Deaf Australia National Conference call for papers

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Deaf Australia has put out a call for papers for its 2nd major National Conference to be held in Hotel Grand Chancellor in Hobart, Tasmania, from 13 to 15 May next year.

In celebration of Deaf Australia's 25th Anniversary the conference theme will be inspired by the song ‘From Little Things Big Things Grow’. It will focus on the growth and achievements of the Australian Deaf community and the "bigger things" to come.

There will be a “professional development day”, held on Sunday 15 May, covering material that is relevant to Deaf professionals, educators, Auslan teachers, and service providers.


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