Customers With Disabilities
  • Shop

    Order Services

    See All Plans & Bundles

    Special Deals



    Current Customers

    Add or Change Services

    Renew or Change Bundle

    Find out which Verizon services are available at your address.

  • My Verizon

    Email & Calls

    Check Email

    Verizon Visual 411



    Bill & Payment

    View Bill

    Pay Final Bill

    Manage Auto Pay

    Manage Paper Free Billing

    My Services

    Add or Change Services

    Suspend My Service

    Renew or Change Bundle

    Review Account

    Manage My Internet

    Manage My Voice


    My Rewards+

    Manage My Rewards+

    Refer a Friend




  • Support

    Community help





    Search Support

    Connect with us

    Verizon on Facebook Verizon on Twitter Verizon on Google Plus Verizon on YouTube

  • Watch Fios

    Watch thousands of your favorite TV shows and movies On Demand and Live. Rent or buy your favorites
    and watch them on any device. Or, check what's on tonight and program your DVR. You can do it all!

    Watch Free TV & Movies



    Rent or Buy

    Set your TV Viewing Experience

  • Trending

    Check out this personalized, real-time feed featuring the latest content and entertainment from around the Web including new headlines, sports, entertainment and more.

    News & Lifestyle

    Have a laugh, learn a trick and discover the awesomeness of Fios. Explore Fios Lounge today.

    Fios Lounge





The Verizon Small Business Facebook and Twitter pages have launched. Follow Us at and Find Us at

Universally Accessible Technology for Persons with Disabilities

by Employee ‎06-04-2010 03:57 PM - edited ‎06-07-2010 12:36 PM

Videophone ServiceOver the past two years Verizon has been part of a collaborative effort to amend the 1996 Telecommunications Act to better reflect the technology needs of persons with disabilities.


Working with industry colleagues, leading national disability advocates and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the U.S. House of Representatives put forth a piece of legislation last year called the Twenty-first Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2009 (H.R. 3101).


That bill would ensure that no matter what the platform – wireline, wireless, Internet or video – the experience will be universally accessible. 


We are very encouraged that in the last few months we also have seen the introduction of a companion Senate bill that was co-authored by Sens. Pryor (D-AR) and Kerry (D-MA).  A hearing on that bill - the Equal Access to 21st Century Communications Act (S. 3304) was held on May 26th.  Even though we are recommending some changes to the Senate bill to better reflect the efforts already agreed upon in House bill, we are pleased to see that the Senate is moving forward. 




Because the effort behind both of these bills stands to significantly affect the way persons with disabilities access technology in their everyday lives.  As Walter McCormick, who is the head of the USTelecom Association, said at the hearing, “Americans are more reliant than ever on communications devices and networks in their daily lives, but Americans with disabilities can derive particular benefits from these technologies.” 


Captioned video on wireless devices, for example, and audio features on Interactive Program Guides (IPGs) for video services are both examples of the kinds of access to technology that would particularly benefit persons with disabilities.


Mr. McCormick represented the industry at the hearing and did a wonderful job.  As importantly, other witnesses, including Bobbie Beth Scoggins, the President of the National Association of the Deaf, reinforced the importance of a legislation that meets the needs of consumers without unnecessarily affecting the business operations of the companies that provide these vital services. 


Throughout the hearing, we were pleased with assurances we received from Chairman Kerry and others that our suggested changes to the Senate bill were reasonable and attainable.


Following up on last week's Senate hearing, the Energy and Commerce Committee in the House has scheduled a legislative hearing for Thursday, June 10th to discuss the merits of H.R. 3101 and Walter McCormick will again plan to testify on behalf of the industry.  We are very proud of the efforts that we have undertaken to date and pledge to continue working with the hope that this recent activity will lead to passage of the legislation later this summer.

Making a Difference for Our Customers & Communities
The Responsibility Blog — Learn how Verizon is using communications technology to connect people to the larger resources of the community—education, health care, accessibility and safety—in ways that make lives better. Visit the Verizon Communications Corporate Responsibility Report. We hope you will share your views with us.

To view vital speeches given by our authors, visit our speeches page.

About the Authors

Rose Kirk

V.P. of Global Corporate Citizenship and President of the Verizon Foundation

Photo of Rose Kirk

Rose leads Verizon's global corporate responsibility initiatives and philanthropic strategy, which focuses on applying Verizon's technology to improve education, healthcare and energy management.

James Gowen

Chief Sustainability Officer/
V.P. of Services Operations

Photo of James Gowen

James oversees Verizon’s supply chain, vehicle fleet, investment recovery, purchasing and materials management and sustainability initiatives.

Jack McArtney

Director of Corporate and Community Responsibility

Photo of Rose Kirk

Jack promotes digital wellness and online safety. He works with parents, educators, service providers, application developers and industry leaders to foster responsible use of Verizon's mobile and broadband networks.

Related Info

Policy Blog

Discuss technology and telecommunications public policy.

Verizon at Home Blog

New or improved Verizon products and services.

Verizon Foundation

Information on Verizon's efforts to reduce domestic violence and promote literacy and education.


55,000+ free, standards-based classroom resources spanning every K-12 discipline.


My Verizon

  • Check Email
  • Add or Change Services
  • Suspend My Service
  • Renew Your Contract
  • Manage Services
  • Announcements

Support Tools

Watch Fios


  • Visual 411