Congress is sending a bill to the President that aims to make technology - specifically, mobile phones and Web sites - more accessible to people with disabilities, according to a post on the Washington Post's Post Tech blog.
The legislation essentially pushes forward technology - notably, text-to-speech technology and closed-captioning services - that the industry has been slow to adopt.
As more video content moves online, hearing-impaired people are left out because closed-captioning isn't required. so that blind and hearing impaired. As smartphones and tablets increasingly move to a touch-screen interface, people with vision impairments who depend on buttons that they can feel are also being left out.
Rep. Ed Markey, who authored the House bill, said the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act essentially is the modern-day version of the 20-year-old American Disabilities Act. Here's his sound-bite quote:
The ADA mandated physical ramps into buildings. Today, individuals with disabilities need online ramps to the Internet so they can get to the Web from wherever they happen to be.
Specifically, the legislation allows blind consumers to choose from a broader selection of phones that meet their needs, the Post Tech blog said.
The bill will go to the President for his signature next week.