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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release July 14, 1999


When President Clinton and I fought for the Telecommunications Act of 1996, we wanted to ensure that all Americans -- including the 54 million Americans with disabilities -- would have the opportunity to be full participants in the Information Revolution.

That is why I am pleased that today the Federal Communications Commission, under the leadership of Chairman Bill Kennard, announced that it will help make telecommunications services and equipment accessible for people with disabilities. Telecommunications can allow people with disabilities to lead more independent lives, and increase their employment opportunities -- but only if these technologies are designed with their needs in mind.

I want to thank those in industry and the disability community who found common ground on this important issue. I am confident that America's innovative telecommunications companies will rise to this challenge, and will develop accessible technologies that will amaze and delight us. By working together, the FCC, industry and the disability community will help ensure that our newest technologies reflect our oldest values.