Obama Signs Law to Make Technology More Accessible for Blind and Deaf Americans

Obama Signs Law to Make Technology More Accessible for Blind and Deaf Americans

Obama Signs Law to Make Technology More Accessible for Blind and Deaf Americans

President Barak Obama signed a new law on Friday that will make it easier for blind and deaf people to use smartphones, the Internet, and other emerging technologies used in everyday life.  The new law has been a priority of advocates for people with disabilities for some time.

The President signed the bill into law in the East Room of the White House while surrounded by members of Congress and Stevie Wonder.  Obama said the signing was yet another step in ensuring that equal access, respect, and opportunity is given to all Americans.

The new law will make it easier for people who are blind or deaf to navigate TV or DVD menus, send emails on smartphones, and a number of other activities many Americans take for granted.  The bill aims to set new standards for many of the important technologies that people use every day in the workplace, the classroom, and in the home. 

The new law will help improve the quality of life for an estimated 25 million visually impaired Americans, as well as 36 million Americans who are deaf or have difficulty hearing. 

New standards set forth in the bill include improving the user interface on smartphones to make getting on the Internet easier, providing audible descriptions of action on television shows, and adding captions to television shows on the Internet.  Other improvements the law hopes to make are making equipment used for the Internet phone calls compatible with hearing aids, and adding a button or switch to television remotes so that closed captioning is easier to access.


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