FCC to Honor Accessibility Technologies

WASHINGTON -- Eight projects representing significant innovation in communications technology benefitting people with disabilities will receive the FCC’s Chairman’s Awards for Advancement in Accessibility, presented by Chairman Julius Genachowski during a ceremony at 2 p.m. on Dec. 19 at FCC headquarters.

Now in their second year, the awards are intended to encourage technological innovation in communication-related areas and to recognize engineers, researchers, and other technologists whose energies and perseverance contribute to technologies that help people with disabilities to obtain and succeed at jobs and participate more actively in the community. 

The awards are a project of the FCC’s Accessibility and Innovation Initiative, which is based on a recommendation from the 2010 National Broadband Plan. The A&I Initiative seeks to facilitate dialog among industry, assistive technology companies, app developers, government representatives, and consumers to allow stakeholders to share best practices and solutions for accessible communications technologies. 

Awards will be presented for the development of mainstream or assistive technologies, the development of standards, and the implementation of best practices that foster accessibility. The awards focus on six categories: Consumer Empowerment Information; Mobile Applications; Civic Participation Solutions; Education: College or University; Video Programming; and Geo-Location Solutions. In addition to the winners in these categories, two honorable mentions will also be recognized.

The Chairman’s 2012 AAA Winners are:
· Consumer Empowerment Information -- Project StAR: Accessible Radio 2012/The Narrator
· Mobile Applications -- WGBH National Center for Accessible Media: "Media Access Mobile"
· Civic Participation Solutions -- Prime III: A Universally Designed Voting Machine
· Education: College or University -- Project: Possibility SS12: Code for a Cause
· Video Programming -- Accessible Media Inc. (AMI), and Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers
· Geo-Location Services -- Tiramisu Transit

The Chairman’s 2012 AAA Honorable Mentions are:
· Civic Participation -- Google+ Hangouts
· Mobile Applications -- Virtual Braille Keyboard

The winning projects will be displayed in the FCC’s Technology Experience Center along with other cutting-edge technologies that provide access to persons with disabilities from Dec. 19-31. The Technology Experience Center is open to the public and offers the opportunity for visitors to experiment with these technologies.

The awards ceremony is free and open to the public. Individuals interested in attending this event are asked to send an RSVP to ChairmansAAA@fcc.gov. Please include your name, title, organization affiliation (if any), and contact information in the e-mail. 

Audio/Video coverage of the meeting will be broadcast live with open captioning over the Internet from the FCC’s webpage at fcc.gov/live. The FCC’s webcast is free to the public and does not require pre-registration.