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FCC to Host SUMMIT ON Emergency Communications and Homeland Security -- Working with the Disability Community

March 22, 2004, Washington, D.C. On Thursday, March 25, the FCC will convene a Summit on Emergency Communications and Homeland Security -- Working With the Disability Community, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Commission Meeting Room at FCC headquarters, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, DC 20554. A detailed agenda is attached.

The Summit fulfills one of the action items identified on the FCCs Homeland Security Action Plan, announced by FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell on July 10, 2003. The event will convene disability organizations, service providers, government agencies and other stakeholders in order to discuss communications barriers faced by people with disabilities during national emergencies or terrorist attacks and develop strategies for resolving them where possible.

The event will feature separate sessions on: 1) the definition of emergency and how that affects the access by the disability community to thorough and reliable emergency information; 2) issues encountered in accessing emergency information over different communications platforms; 3) pending rulemaking proceedings, enforcement, and outreach activities of interest to the disability community; and 4) technological innovations that will improve access to telecommunications equipment by the disabled.

FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS AND HOMELAND SECURITY: WORKING WITH THE DISABILITY COMMUNITY SUMMIT

March 25, 2004
Commission Headquarters, Washington, D.C.


The purpose of this Summit is to convene disability organizations, service providers, government agencies and other stakeholders for the purpose of developing recommendations to the Commission concerning communications barriers faced by people with disabilities during emergencies and possible solutions to those barriers. The Summit will provide an opportunity for representatives of the disability community to discuss the communications barriers faced in emergency situations and an opportunity for the Commission and telecommunications industry representatives to discuss measures they can take in order to address those barriers.

A G E N D A

9:00 a.m. 9:10 a.m. Welcome from K. Dane Snowden, Chief, Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau

9:10 a.m. 9:20 a.m. Overview of the Homeland Security Policy Council and Its Activities


Linda Blair, Deputy Chief, Enforcement Bureau

9:20 a.m. 9:30 a.m. Remarks by Daniel Sutherland, Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, Department of Homeland Security

9:30 a.m. 10:00 a.m. Commissioners/Federal Communications Commission Welcoming Remarks

10:00 a.m. 11:00 a.m. Defining Emergency A Conversation


This panel will explore the current FCC definition of emergency and possible alternatives that would help to improve the access of the disability community to reliable emergency information.

Moderator: Ken Ferree, Chief, Media Bureau


  • Claudia Gordon, Attorney, Department of Homeland Security
  • Susan Fox, Vice President, Government Affairs, Disney
  • Elizabeth Davis, Director of the Emergency Preparedness Initiative, National Organization on Disabilities
  • Jenny Hansen, Manager, Public Safety Services Office for the State of Montana, Department of Administration

11:00 a.m. 11:15 a.m. Break

11:15 a.m. 12:30 p.m. Emergency Communications Access A Conversation with the Disability Community


This panel will discuss issues encountered in accessing emergency information over different communications platforms.

Moderator: K. Dane Snowden, Chief, Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau


  • Alan Dinsmore, Senior Governmental Relations Representative, American Foundation for the Blind
  • Cheryl Heppner - Executive Director, Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons
  • Andrew Imparato, President/Exec. Director, American Association of People with Disabilities
  • Claude Stout, Executive Director, Telecommunications for the Deaf, Inc. (invited)

12:30 p.m. 1:45 p.m. Lunch

1:45 p.m. 2:45 p.m. Commission Activities and Outreach Impacting the Disability Community


This panel will highlight pending rulemaking proceedings of interest to the disability community. The panel will also cover enforcement and outreach measures and how they might be more responsive to the disability community.

Moderator: William Maher, Chief, Wireline Competition Bureau


  • Mark Stone, Deputy Chief, Telecommunications Consumers Division, Enforcement Bureau
  • Tom Chandler, Chief, Disability Rights Office, Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau
  • Julie Veach, Assistant Division Chief, Competition Policy Division, Wireline Competition Bureau

2:45 p.m. 3:00 p.m. Break

3:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m. Technology Solutions


This panel will discuss technological innovations that will improve access to telecommunications equipment by the disabled.

Moderator: Cathy Seidel, Deputy Chief, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau


  • Larry Goldberg, Director, Media Access, WGBH
  • Dan Bart, Telecommunications Industry Association
  • David J. Dzumba, Senior Manager, Global Accessibility. NOKIA Mobile Phones

4:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m. Concluding Remarks Ensuring Equal Access to Emergency Communications Services

Michael K. Powell, Chairman, Federal Communications Commission

4:30 p.m. Adjournment

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