Comment Dates for Accessible Carceral Communications Proceeding

Comments Due:  December 15, 2022

Reply Comments Due:  January 17, 2022

On September 30, 2022, the Commission released its Fourth Report and Order and Sixth Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to improve access to communications services for incarcerated people with communication disabilities.  On November 15, 2022, a summary of the Further Notice was published in the Federal Register, which establishes the comment due dates for the Sixth Further Notice. 

The Sixth Further Notice seeks comment on, among other things:

  1. Whether to allow enterprise registration for Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS) in correctional facilities;
  2. Whether to adopt the FCC’s proposal to extend inmate calling services providers’ TRS-related access obligations to include VRS, IP Relay, and IP CTS as well as ASL point-to-point video calling, where broadband is available, and analog captioned telephone service (CTS) where broadband is not available, with average daily populations of fewer than 50 incarcerated persons; and
  3. Whether charges for any inmate calling services for incarcerated people with disabilities should be disclosed in accessible formats.

Interested parties may file comments by accessing the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System at https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filings/.  All filings must reference WC Docket No. 12-375. People with disabilities who need assistance to file comments online may request assistance by email to FCC504@fcc.gov

Links to Further Notice:

URL:  https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-mandates-trs-access-incarcerated-people-disabilities  

Word:  https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-22-76A1.docx 

PDF:  https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-22-76A1.pdf 

Text:  https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-22-76A1.txt

For further information, please contact Michael Scott, Disability Rights Office, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, at (202) 418-1264 or Michael.Scott@fcc.gov.  Individuals who use videophones and are fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) may call the FCC’s ASL Consumer Support Line at (844) 432‐2275.

FCC Selects Maine National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program

On October 13, 2022, the FCC released a Public Notice to announce Perkins School for the Blind (Perkins) as the certified entity for the National Deaf Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP). Perkins will start on December 1, 2022 and replace Disability Rights Maine.

Links to the public notice:

URL: https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-certifies-perkins-school-blind-administer-maine-ndbedp

Word: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-22-1091A1.docx

PDF: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-22-1091A1.pdf

Text: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-22-1091A1.txt

For more information about the NDBEDP, visit http://www.fcc.gov/ndbedp . For more information about this public notice, contact Jackie Ellington, NDPEDP Administrator. Disability Rights Office, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, at 202-418-1153 or Jackie.Ellington@fcc.gov. Individuals who use videophones and are fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) may call the FCC’s ASL Consumer Support Line at 844-432-2275 (videophone).

FCC Seeks Comment on InnoCaption’s Application for Full Certification to Provide IP CTS

Comments Due:  October 26, 2022

Reply Comments Due:  November 7, 2022

On October 12, 2022, the FCC released a Public Notice seeking comment on an application filed by Mezmo Corporation, dba InnoCaption, for full certification to provide Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS).

Interested parties may file comments by accessing the Electronic Comment Filing System at https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filings.  All filings must reference CG Docket Nos. 03-123 and 13-24.  People with disabilities who need assistance to file comments online may request assistance by email to FCC504@fcc.gov.   

Public Notice:

URL:    https://www.fcc.gov/document/seeks-comment-innocaption-ip-cts-full-cert-application  

Word:   https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-22-1087A1.docx  

PDF:     https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-22-1087A1.pdf  

Text:     https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-22-1087A1.txt

InnoCaption’s Application (redacted):

https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/10912237476222/1

General information about IP CTS is available at www.fcc.gov/ipcts.  For further information, please contact Joshua Mendelsohn, Disability Rights Office, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, at (202) 599-7304 or by e-mail at Joshua.Mendelsohn@fcc.gov, or Ike Ofobike at (202) 744-3916 or by e-mail at Ike.Ofobike@fcc.gov.  Individuals who use videophones and are fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) may call the FCC’s ASL Consumer Support Line at (844) 432-2275 (videophone).

FCC Seeks Comment on Nagish Inc.’s Application to Provide IP CTS and IP Relay Service

Comments Due:  November 14, 2022

Reply Comments Due:  November 29, 2022

On October 12, 2022, the FCC released a Public Notice seeking comment on an Internet-Based TRS Certification Application filed by Nagish, Inc. to provide fully automatic speech recognition-based Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS) and Internet Protocol Relay Service (IP Relay).

Interested parties may file comments by accessing the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System at https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filings.  All filings must reference CG Docket No. 03-123.  People with disabilities who need assistance to file comments online may request assistance by email to FCC504@fcc.gov

Links to the Public Notice:

URL:   https://www.fcc.gov/document/seeks-comment-nagish-ip-cts-ip-relay-application  

Word:  https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-22-1090A1.docx  

PDF:   https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-22-1090A1.pdf

Text:   https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-22-1090A1.txt

For further information, please contact Ike Ofobike at (202) 744-3916 or by e-mail at Ike.Ofobike@fcc.gov or Joshua Mendelsohn at (202) 599-7304 or by e-mail at Joshua.Mendelsohn@fcc.gov.  Individuals who use videophones and are fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) may call the FCC’s ASL Consumer Support Line at (844) 432‐2275.

FCC Announces November 1 Disability Advisory Committee Meeting

On September 26, 2022, the FCC announced that the next Disability Advisory Committee (DAC) meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 1, 2002, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The DAC meeting will be held remotely and will be webcast with open captioning and ASL interpreting at https://www.fcc.gov/live.

At this meeting, DAC members are expected to:

  • consider a working group report and recommendation on the transmittal of captioning files by video programming providers and distributors; and
  • discuss other topics relevant to the DAC’s work.

Links to Public Notice:

URL: https://www.fcc.gov/document/dac-november-1-2022-meeting-announced

Word: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-22-1002A1.docx

PDF: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-22-1002A1.pdf

Text: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-22-100A1.txt

For general information about the DAC and the agenda, visit www.fcc.gov/dac. For specific questions, please contact Joshua Mendelsohn, DAC Designated Federal Officer at 202-599-7304 (voice or videophone) or DAQ@fcc.gov.

FCC Reminds States and Territories to Apply for TRS Recertification

On September 26, 2022, the FCC released a Public Notice requesting states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories apply for renewal of their telecommunications relay service (TRS)  certifications no later than December 1, 2022.  Current TRS certifications are scheduled to expire on July 25, 2023.  The Public Notice also reminds certified state and territory TRS programs that they must provide traditional (TTY-based) TRS, Spanish language traditional TRS, and speech-to-speech relay (STS) service.  Additionally, the Public Notice includes a timeline of FCC action for the certification process.

Links to the Public Notice:

URL:   https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-reminds-states-and-territories-recertify-trs-programs

Word: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-22-1007A1.docx   

PDF: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-22-1007A1.pdf   

Text: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-22-1007A1.txt

For general information about TRS, visit www.fcc.gov/trs.  For specific information, please contact Dana Warrick, Disability Rights Office, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, at (202) 418-2247 or Dana.Warrick@fcc.gov.  Individuals who use videophones and are fluent in ASL may call the FCC’s ASL Consumer Support Line at (844) 432-2275 (videophone).

FCC Seeks Comment on T-Mobile Accessibility’s Petition for Rulemaking

Comments Due:  October 24, 2022

Reply Comments Due:  November 8, 2022

On September 22, 2022, the FCC released a Public Notice seeking comment on a Petition for rulemaking filed by T-Mobile Accessibility.  T-Mobile asks the FCC to initiate a rulemaking proceeding to amend the FCC’s rules to eliminate requirements regarding the use of the American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) format.  According to T-Mobile, the requirement that TTY-based relay service be capable of communicating with the ASCII format has outlived its utility.

Interested parties may file comments by accessing the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System at https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filings.  All filings must reference CG Docket No. 03-123.  People with disabilities who need assistance to file comments online may request assistance by email to FCC504@fcc.gov.

Links to the Public Notice:

URL:  https://www.fcc.gov/document/seeks-comment-t-mobile-trs-petition-rulemaking  

Word:  https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-22-996A1.docx

PDF:   https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-22-996A1.pdf

Text:  https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-22-996A1.txt

For further information, please contact Joshua Mendelsohn at (202) 599-7304 or by e-mail at Joshua.Mendelsohn@fcc.gov, or Ike Ofobike at (202) 744-3916 or by e-mail at Ike.Ofobike@fcc.gov.   To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an e-mail to fcc504@fcc.gov or call the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530.

FCC Announces Application Period for NDBEDP Certification for Maine

Deadline: September 8, 2022

On August 9, 2022, the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB) released a Public Notice inviting applications from entities interested in being certified to distribute equipment under the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP), also known as iCanConnect, to eligible individuals in Maine. CGB will accept applications for this purpose until September 8, 2022.

Links to the Public Notice:
URL: https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-invites-applications-maine-ndbedp
Word: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-22-835A1.docx
PDF: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-22-835A1.pdf
Text: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-22-835A1.txt

For more information about the NDBEDP, visit http://www.fcc.gov/ndbedp. For more information about this Public Notice, contact Jackie Ellington, NDBEDP Administrator, Disability Rights Office, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, at 202-418-1153 or Jackie.Ellington@fcc.gov. Individuals who use videophones and are fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) may call the FCC’s ASL Consumer Support Line at 844-432-2275 (videophone).

FCC Settles with MachineGenius Over TRS Violations

On July 8, 2022, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau entered into a Consent Decree with MachineGenius, Inc., a provider of Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS), to resolve investigations into whether MachineGenius violated the Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) rules by failing to collect proper user self-certifications prior to seeking compensation from the TRS Fund and submitting inaccurate data to the TRS Fund administrator.

Under the Consent Decree, MachineGenius will collect compliant self-certifications from all its IP CTS users registered prior to June 1, 2022, implement a compliance plan, and pay a $400,000 civil penalty.

Order and Consent Decree:
URL: https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-settles-machinegenius-over-self-certification-compliance
PDF: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-22-729A1.pdf
Text: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-22-729A1.txt

General information about TRS is available at www.fcc.gov/trs and about IP CTS at www.fcc.gov/ipcts. For further information, please contact Stacy Ruffin-Smith, Telecommunications Consumers Division, Enforcement Bureau, at stacy.ruffin-smith@fcc.gov. Individuals who use videophones and are fluent in American Sign Language may call the FCC’s ASL Consumer Support Line at (202) 432-2275.