Internet Accessibility Bill Introduced

Representative Markey recently introduced the 21st Century Communications and Accessibility Act, HR 6320. This bill focuses on amending the Communications Act to ensure that new Internet-enabled telephone and video services and equipment are accessible to and usable by people with disabilities and closes existing gaps in telecommunications laws. These services would include captioning or video description service for streaming video, text support for emergency services and ensuring hearing aid compatibility for internet services. Congressman Markey provides a summary of the bill, in addition to the text of the legislation.

This bill is an interesting complement to the recent ACM Policy Statement on Internet Accessibility, which we released earlier this year. In that statement, we recommended the extension of accessibility standards while minimizing regulation, which appears to be a major goal of this bill. We will watch this bill closely as the year progresses.

VVSG Update: Possible Next Steps by the Election Assistance Commission

Last week the Board of Advisors of the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) met over two days to discuss pending and new business. While this meeting (and most meetings of the EAC and its boards) covered many topics, the items having to do with the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG) are worth passing along.

The staff at the National Institute of Standards and Technology was asked to investigate several technical questions related to the VVSG. They are:

    Alternatives to Software Independence (SI)
    Standards for Ballot-on-Demand systems
    Impact of VVSG on vote-by-phone
    Consequences of separately testing and certifying election system components
    Impact of VVSG on early voting and vote centers
    Alternatives to goal level requirements in the VVSG (requirements that state a goal but are not easily testable – if testable at all)

Continue reading “VVSG Update: Possible Next Steps by the Election Assistance Commission”

Hill Tech Happenings, Week of June 23

Update June 24 – Health IT hearing added for June 25

June 24
Hearing:
The Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee of the House Science and Technology Committee will hold a hearing on skilled work and globalization. This is the second in a series of hearings that started in May.
1 p.m., 2318 Rayburn Building

June 25
Hearing:
The Subcommittee on the Constitution of the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on laptop searches of returning Americans.
9 11 a.m., 226 Dirksen Building

Markup:
The Health Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on the PROTECHT Act, which concerns health information technology.
10 a.m., 2123 Rayburn Building
Continue reading “Hill Tech Happenings, Week of June 23”

Hill Tech Happenings, Week of June 16

Update, June 19
June 18 Senate Commerce Committee hearing postponed

June 17
Hearing:
The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on protecting intellectual property.
10 a.m., 226 Dirksen Building

Meeting:
The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars holds a briefing on science and technology policy in the next generation. RSVP 202-691-4016.
8:30 a.m., 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

The Board of Advisors for the Election Assistance Commission will meet (continuing June 18).
10 a.m., Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill, 400 New Jersey Avenue, NW.

June 18
Hearing:
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on protecting personal information.
10 a.m., 342 Dirksen Building

June 19
Meeting:
The Election Assistance Commission will hold a public meeting.
1 p.m., 1225 New York Avenue NW, Suite 150.

Hill Tech Happenings, Week of June 9

Update June 10 – Judiciary Subcommittee hearing now scheduled for 10 a.m.

Afternoon hearing added for June 11

June 10
Hearing:
The Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law of the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on electronic employment verification.
9 10 a.m., 2141 Rayburn Building

June 11
Meeting:
The Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee of the Department of Homeland Security will meet.
9 a.m., Hilton Arlington Hotel, 950 North Stafford Street, Arlington, Virginia

Hearing:
The Consumer Affairs, Insurance and Automotive Safety Subommittee of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will hold a hearing on spyware.
3 p.m., 253 Russell Building