New Law Provides Technology Access for Disabled

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By Jason Beahm on October 12, 2010 7:02 AM

Have you ever wondered how you would use 21st century communications if you were blind or deaf? Items like smartphones, tablet computers, the Internet, and other technology has become a part of everyday life for many people. However, it is quite difficult for the blind, deaf and visually impaired to make use of the technologies due to a lack of accommodations for their disabilities.

However, thanks to Senate Bill 3304, the Equal Access to 21st Century Communications Act, signed into effect by President Barack Obama, access to technology will become much easier. Obama signed the bill in the East Room of the White House surrounded by congressional leaders as well as Stevie Wonder, according to MSNBC.com. Obama said that the Act was noteworthy because of its scope and because the country took another step towards guaranteeing equal access, opportunity and respect on the 20 year anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. SB 3304 is expected to improve the quality of life for a total of 51 million people who are either blind, deaf, hard of hearing or who have difficultly seeing.

According to President Obama, the new law "will make it easier for people who are deaf, blind or live with a visual impairment to do what many of us take for granted ... It sets new standards so that Americans with disabilities can take advantage of the technology our economy depends on, and that's especially important in today's economy when every worker needs the necessary skills to compete for the jobs of the future."

Under the new law, 21st century communications will be far easier to use for the disabled. The law will require that the Internet and modern technology become easier to use by improving the interfaces to better take into account the user experience of the blind and deaf. According to the MSNBC post, even those who are not disabled will benefit, as devices are likely to become easier to use for everyone.

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