Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Will Rep. Dingell Cosponsor 21st Century Act?

Here is a letter that a Caption Action 2 supporter wrote to her representative (Rep. John Dingell, Michigan), and the representative's response. His response is supportive yet does not make a commitment to coming on board as a cosponsor of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2009.

From Caption Action 2 supporter to Dingell:
I am deaf and the 21st Century Communications & Video Accessibility Act of 2009 is important to me, because it will enable me to understand the streaming videos if they are captioned. May I ask if you will be willing to cosponsor the 21st Century Communications & Video Accessibility Act of 2009 for the benefit of the deaf and hard of hearing citizens?

From Dingell to Caption Action 2 supporter (with bold lettering added by Caption Action 2):

Thank you for contacting me regarding H.R. 3101, the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act. I appreciate hearing from you.

As you may know, H.R. 3101 was introduced by Representative Ed Markey (D-MA) on June 26, 2009. This legislation contains numerous provisions designed to ensure that the disabled have equal access to telecommunications devices. Among other measures, the bill requires hearing aid compatibility with IP-enabled communications devices, strengthens closed captioning and video description requirements for digital television and mandates real time text support to ensure that the disabled have access to text messaging during emergencies.

I am a longtime supporter of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as well as a cosponsor of the ADA Restoration Act, which I helped to pass in the House by a vote of 402-17 on June 25, 2008. All Americans should have an equal opportunity to succeed regardless of physical disability. H.R. 3101 has been referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee. As Chairman Emeritus of the Committee, I will take your comments into consideration as my colleagues and I continue to shape the panel's telecommunications agenda.

Again, thank you for being in touch. For news on current federal legislative issues, please visit my website at; you can also sign up there to receive my e-newsletter. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me again if I may be of assistance with this or any other matter of concern.

With every good wish,

Sincerely yours,

John D. Dingell
Member of Congress

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