Technology and Disability Policy Highlights – June 2021

Date of Publication: 
2021 July

In June, President Biden signed an Executive Order on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Federal Workforce [EO 13985]. Among the directives of EO 13985 is to “develop and issue a Government-wide Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Strategic Plan (Government-wide DEIA Plan).”  The hope is that this strategic plan will harmonize inclusive and accessibility efforts across government sectors. 

In regulatory news, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) seeks comments on reducing and removing barriers to voting access for people with disabilities. They provided twenty scopes of interests that stakeholders are open to respond to. Due July 16, 2021, public comments will inform NIST’s end-of-year report that provides recommendations on overcoming these barriers. Other upcoming comment deadlines include NTIA’s request for comments on updates to the annual internet use survey, due on or before July 26, 2021; and the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) request for stakeholder input on the compensation plan for video relay service, reply comments due by July 15, 2021. Also of interest, the FCC announced that in coordination with FEMA, it will conduct a nationwide test of the emergency alert system (EAS) and wireless emergency alert (WEA) system. They invite stakeholders who are observing this test in their communities to provide feedback.

In Wireless RERC news, our InsightOut Video is now available on YouTube. Debuted at the Wireless RERC’s State of Technology Forum, this video shows Wireless RERC researchers sharing their observations and perspectives regarding remaining challenges to and advances in accessible and assistive wireless technologies towards the goals of inclusion and innovation.

This issue also includes news about smart homes, assistive technology, rural broadband connectivity, accessible virtual museum, voting access, VoiceITT, inclusive design, webinars, conferences, conventions, and more.


The contents of this website were developed under a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant number 90RE5025-01-00). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this website do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.