Communication is an essential part of participating in today's workforce. Reflecting this, ODEP is committed to improving communications access. Communications access means that people with sensory disabilities can communicate (and be communicated with) on an equal footing with those who do not have such disabilities.
The following resources provide more information about ODEP's efforts to increase communications access:
- Job Accommodation Network (JAN) — ODEP funded service that provides free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations, including those for individuals who have communication challenges.
- Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program (CAP) — The Federal Government's centrally funded accommodation program. Provides assistive technology and services free of charge to Federal agencies.
- Telephone Relay Systems: Enabling Telephone Access for Customers & Employees — Fact sheet describing telephone relay service, which facilitates communication between those who have communication difficulties and those who do not.
- Laws covering communications access:
- Filing an Accessibility Complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) — Information about how to file a complaint about the inaccessibility of Internet voice chat service or equipment, closed captioning on television, wireless or mobile telephone service, or equipment and other types of communications.
- Effective Communication for Persons Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing — Effective communication with a person who is deaf or hard of hearing is communication that allows the person an equal opportunity to participate in, and enjoy the benefits of, a service, program, or activity.
- Communicating Emergency Information to People with Visual or Hearing Disabilities — Learn about a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rule that requires broadcasters and cable operators to make local emergency information accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing, or blind or who have visual disabilities. This rule means that emergency information must be provided both aurally and in a visual format.
- FCC Disabilities Issues Guides — These guides cover hearing aid compatibility, captioning of internet video programming, speech-to-speech relay service and many other communications topics.