A great move forward in the protection of civil rights occurred when in 1996 when the 104th Congress of the United States passed amendments the Telecommunications Act of 1934. We may not associate civil rights with telecommunications legislation until we consider the traditional goals of universal service and the impediments that communications technologies impose upon people with sight, auditory, cognitive and other disabilities.

Today, 83 years of forward progress towards true universal service inclusive of people with disabilities is under assault as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), an independent agency of the US national government, considers repeal of Net Neutrality rules implemented in 2015. In the following paragraphs I will explain how Net Neutrality is a civil rights issue, how the repeal causes a step backwards and tell some of what can be done to stop this retrograde motion regarding the civil rights of people with disabilities related to telecommunications.

To read this article in full, please click here