Sunday, July 26, 2009

Odds Against HR3101? Tremendous!!!

How great are the odds against our bill, HR3101, the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, making it through Congress? As Caption Action 2 discovered to its dismay, tremendous!!! For starters, according to the Federal Legislation page:
Members of Congress introduce some ten thousand bills and resolutions in each two-year session of Congress, only a small fraction of which are seriously considered and fewer still enacted as law.
Not only that, according to the page on that explains Committee Assignments:

Most bills begin by being considered by one or several congressional committees which may "report" the bill favorably or unfavorably to the Senate or House as a whole allowing it to receive consideration by the full body and move forward, or may fail to consider a bill at all preventing the bill from moving forward. Most bills never receive any committee consideration and are never reported out. House bills start in House committees and enter Senate committees only after being passed by the House...
But that's not all. Our bill is in the hands of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. How much competition does our bill have so far, given that this two-year session of Congress will likely see more bills introduced? According to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce page on, around a thousand bills are competing with ours for attention!

This does not mean we can't do it. We can!! It is going to take a huge, collaborative effort in the deaf and hard of hearing community to get the attention of Congress. The Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology (COAT) and its affiliates is working hard to get support. Caption Action 2 is working hard to rally even more troops. We need a huge army of supporters if this bill is going to have a serious chance!


  1. i wonder if the national association of the deaf and the alexander graham bell association for the deaf, hearing loss association of america and other similar groups are truly collaborating on this? bridges were burned by radical deaf militants. i can't help but...

  2. Perhaps the older members of our community will remember how Deaf people and the NAD rose to battle for the right to drive a car. In the first half of the last century there were motions made to deny deaf people drivers' licenses and the uprising of many Deaf people defeated it. In the process it was discovered that despite discrimination by insurance companies, deaf people had better driving safety records than the general population.

    So that future deaf people can develop their literacy and information backgrounds, we need the Internet captioning law passed now.

  3. Remember, this is not only a captioning bill. It covers all kinds of accessibility, for all kinds of disabilities. So we have to GO BIG to WIN!

  4. Good point, Jim! This is a multi-community job. This isn't just for those with hearing and/or vision losses. We need everyone's help.

    So, as you said, let's GO BIG!