Sunday, August 2, 2009

Who Needs an $8,000 Telephone?

A deaf-blind person, that's who. Deaf-blind people use special equipment such as a TTY with a Braille display. However, such equipment is expensive and beyond the financial reach of many deaf-blind people. So, HR 3101 includes an allocation of up to $10 million a year to purchase assistive equipment for deaf-blind people.

The exact language can be found under Section 105, Universal Service:

(1) IN GENERAL. — Within 6 months after the date of the enactment of the Twenty-first Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2009, the Commission shall establish rules that define as eligible for universal service support those programs that are certified by a State commission or approved by the Commission for the distribution of specialized customer premises equipment designed to make telecommunications service, Internet access services, and advanced communications, including interexchange services and advanced telecommunications and information services, accessible by individuals who are deaf-blind.

(3) ANNUAL AMOUNT.—The total amount of universal service support that may be obligated or expended under this subsection for any fiscal year may not exceed $10,000,000.
The Act does not indicate if this amount will be increased to allow for inflation, but perhaps a final bill would contain some language to that effect.

1 comment:

  1. to make this money happen, you have to do something! Follow the steps in the Action Alert at
    If everyone reading this blog faxed a letter to their Senator and to their Rep., do you think we'd get the money for deaf-blind phones?