A group of industry associations and consumer groups has filed an ex parte letter with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on behalf of the wireless handset manufacturers, carriers and people who use hearing aid devices to ensure that wireless handsets are accessible for people using hearing aid devices.
The push for updated handset accessibility rules is being led by a group of organizations including: the Telecommunications Industry Association, the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association, the Competitive Carriers Association, Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, the Hearing Loss Association of America, and the National Association of the Deaf.
Last year, these organizations announced a Consensus Proposal for incremental increases in wireless handset hearing aid compatibility (HAC) benchmarks for both manufacturers and carriers. The FCC incorporated that Consensus Proposal in its proposed rule and now the groups are urging the Commission to adopt the proposal in a final rule. They also provide further details about a multi-stakeholder taskforce to consider. They suggest that the taskforce reconsiders the existing definition of HAC and whether 100 percent compliance is achievable.