Equal Access for all people to Emergency Broadcasts

Rev. Abby Jo By Rev. Abby Jo, 7th Aug 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/1v1_pp87/
Posted in Wikinut>News>Technology

Did my activism pay off? Last month, I filed a complaint against my internet service provider for being inaccessible to deaf. A short time after that, the FCC, which usually does nothing, actually served that complaint on the provider, a very large corporation. A very short time after that, the same agency sets up a meeting with reasonable access and notice, something they have never done before!

Comcast complaint filed July 17, 2015

Here is a screenshot of my public complaint against Comcast. The public complaints are posted at: . This is one of many such formal complaints since 2008 to Los Angeles City & County. I have been patronized, discredited, harassed, retaliated against and ostracized due to my persistent complaints. Finally, now, it appears some right action is being taken, a hearing.

FCC Schedules public hearing for August 27, 2015 on deaf access, notice received August 6, 2015

I have been after the FCC for a few years to not just write off deaf as collateral damage in an emergency/natural disaster situation, but until today had not received more than lip service and form rejects. Today I received this in my email box which appears to be a serious effort to do something to include us. I say "serious" because there was a previous meeting a few days ago which I missed, partly because the notice I was given was less than 24 hours before the meeting. I conclude there was some honest discussion at that meeting, leading to this notice today which gives us three weeks to find people to attend to the meeting, to tell the federal government of the United States what deaf and hearing impaired persons need in terms of access.

I for one have been telling them that all the emergency broadcasts to date are only on radio and TV, and I do not use either and have no telephone. I will not listen to or hear any such announcements should they occur. I would be at home on my computer blogging as usual unless there are also live internet warnings in writing, briefing me along with the rest of the population. I also notified my local state emergency broadcast service providers of this situation.


On Thursday, August 27, 2015, the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau and Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau will host a workshop to promote the wider use and increased accessibility of the Emergency Alert System (EAS). The workshop will be held from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Commission Meeting Room at FCC Headquarters, located at 445 12th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20554.

As part of the FCC’s continuing commitment to ensure that emergency alert and warning systems are effective and available to all Americans, the workshop will explore two key issues:

(1) How to improve the usefulness of the EAS for emergency managers at the state and local levels (e.g., Emergency Operation Centers, Public Safety Answering Points, Police, Fire and Emergency Medical Services), and
(2) How to improve the accessibility of alerts to people with disabilities.

The workshop will be streamed live with open captioning over the Internet from the FCC’s web page at www.fcc.gov/live. Those watching the live video stream of the event may e-mail event-related questions to livequestions@fcc.gov.

Sign language interpreters, open captioning and assistive listening devices will be provided on site. Other reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request. Last minute requests will be accepted, but may be impossible to fulfill. To make a request for reasonable accommodations or materials in accessible formats, contact fcc504@fcc.gov or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (TTY).

For additional information about the meeting, please contact John A. Evanoff, Policy and Licensing Division, PSHSB at (202) 418-0848 or via e-mail at john.evanoff@fcc.gov or Cheryl King, Disability Rights Office, CGB at (202) 418-2284 or via email at: cheryl.king@fcc.gov.


Access, Communication, Emergency Broadcast, Inclusion, Warning Systems

Meet the author

author avatar Rev. Abby Jo
I am an ordained minister in my 50s. My ministry is online. I practice meaningful written dialogue, truth in all things. Ascending beyond past. I will be here regardless of pay.

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