FCC Announces Upcoming Public Workshop on Social Media Accessibility

On July 10, 2014, the Federal Communications Commission announced that it will hold a public event entitled Accessing Social Media” on Thursday, July 17, 2014, under the banner of its Accessibility and Innovation Initiative. The event will be held at the FCC’s Washington, DC headquarters at 445 12th Street SW from 9am to 4pm and will include broad panels of industry, government, and consumer representatives as well as a product exhibit floor.

Participating organizations will include: the American Association of People with Disabilities; Adobe Systems; Hearing Loss Association of America; IBM; the U.S. Department of Labor; University of Colorado, Boulder; and the U.S. Business Leadership Network. (A complete list of participating organizations can be found here.)

The Commission launched the Accessibility and Innovation Initiative in 2010, on the twentieth anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, to push for improved access to technology for disabled citizens. Several months after the announcement of the Initiative, President Obama signed the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) into law, imposing a variety of accessibility requirements on advanced communications products and services. The FCC has, on occasion, granted waiver requests for select devices including most recently for certain e-reader devices.