Congressman Parker Griffith spoke today in an Energy and Commerce Subcommittee meeting about the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2009. The Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet held a hearing discussing H.R. 3101, legislation that would update the communications laws to help ensure that individuals with vision, hearing, and other disabilities are able to fully utilize broadband services and equipment and better access video programming devices.
"I'd like to thank the Chairman and Ranking Member for calling this hearing today and also thank all of the witnesses for your willingness to testify before this subcommittee.
"Alabama is the home of Helen Keller, but more importantly is home to the Alabama Institute of the Deaf and Blind, which has always been on the cutting edge. Dr. Graham and his staff are absolutely wonderful. It is a century old institution devoted to the subject that we are addressing today.
"I'm a proud cosponsor of H.R. 3101 and am happy this hearing has been called. While I'm mindful of the few provisions that need to be worked out amongst us I'm hopeful that we can move this legislation forward as we near the 20th anniversary of the American with Disabilities Act.
"I believe it is imperative that we continue to focus on innovation and ingenuity. Over the last decade we've made great strides in producing technologies that Americans with disabilities can rely on; we must remember what brought us to where we are, which is really a free market, less regulation. This bill seeks to mandate certain technologies and I'm that we will work this out in committee so that it will be a satisfactory bill for all.
"These provisions need some work, however, I think the committee in general is very, very excited about this bill and I think we will pass it.
"Nonetheless, the overall goal of this legislation should be commended and I look forward to working with my colleagues as we press forward to find solutions that extend the benefits of the internet to people with disabilities," said Congressman Griffith.
Griffith is a member of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet for the Committee on Energy and Commerce.