FCC Seeking Nominations for Accessibility Awards

Americas, News, February 22 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C.: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is seeking nominations for the Fifth Chairman’s Awards for Advancement in Accessibility, beginning January 11, 2016 through March 31, 2016 for products, services, technologies or practices introduced to the public between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015.

FCC logoThe Chairman’s AAA are part of an FCC effort designed to recognize the efforts of individuals, organizations, academic institutions, companies and government agencies to make communications tools more accessible to people with disabilities.  This effort also aims to encourage technological innovation and accessibility in communications-related areas.

The Chairman’s AAA were first launched in 2010 at the FCC’s celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act and coordinated by the Commission’s Accessibility and Innovation Initiative.  Since that time, the Chairman’s AAA have been awarded on four occasions to recognize outstanding private and public sector ventures designed to advance accessibility for people with disabilities.

For this Fifth Chairman’s AAA, the FCC continues to seek nominations for emerging and innovative technologies. To this end, nominations may be submitted, for example, for the development of mainstream or assistive technologies introduced into the marketplace, the development of standards, or the implementation of best practices that foster accessibility.  In addition, nominations may be submitted for any product, service, technology or practice introduced to the public for the first time that is the result of an invention of a new technology, repurposing of existing technologies, or combining existing and emerging technologies in novel ways to increase accessibility for people with disabilities.  This year, we are particularly interested in receiving nominations for innovations addressing the communications needs of people with cognitive disabilities.

The Chairman’s AAA is open to any individual or entity in the public or private sector, or a combination thereof.  The following considerations will be used in determining the award winners.

  • Whether the nominated effort advancing accessibility was introduced between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015;
  • The degree to which the nominated effort is unique and inventive;
  • The disability needs addressed and/or impacted by the nominated effort.  For example, whether the nominated effort impacts a particular audience in significant ways (e.g. innovations that address unique needs, reach underserved or small populations) or reaches a broad audience in smaller but pervasive ways (e.g. increasing awareness, affecting deployment or adoption of accessible technologies);
  • How affordable and available the nominated effort is for its intended users; and
  • The degree to which the nominated effort would significantly and tangibly benefit from recognition by the Chairman.

Each nomination should include:

  • Details about the problem or challenge addressed by the innovation, including background information if available;
  • A description of the innovation, including links to demos or detailed information;
  • The date the innovation was introduced;
  • A description of how the award would impact continued success and progress; and
  • An explanation of why the innovation qualifies for the Chairman’s Award.

Please send all nominations to:  ChairmansAAA@fcc.gov by March 31, 2016.   Selected nominations will be recognized at a ceremony to be held in June 2016.

For questions or inquiries about the Chairman’s AAA ceremony, contact Gerard Williams (202-418-1505), Chantal Virgile (202-418-0056), or Deandrea Wilson (202-418-0703), Inquiries may also be sent to ChairmansAAA@fcc.gov.

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