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The Federal Communications Commission's Policies and Practices Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

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Federal Communications Commission.




In this document, the Commission initiates review of its policies and practices under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504 Handbook). By doing so, the Commission seeks comment on the accessibility of its programs and activities. The Commission's rules mandate that it conduct a review of its current policies and practices in view of advances in relevant technology and achievability every three years.


Comments are due on or before May 22, 2007.


You may submit comments identified by CG Docket No. 03-123, by any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • Federal Communications Commission's Web site:​cgb/​ecfs/​. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • Mail: Parties who choose to file by paper should also submit their comments on diskette. These diskettes should be submitted, along with three paper copies to Diane Mason, Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau, Disability Rights Office, 445 12th Street, SW., Room 3-C418, Washington, DC 20554. Such a submission should be on a 3.5 inch diskette formatted in an IBM compatible formatted using Word 97 or compatible software. The diskette should be accompanied by a cover letter and should be submitted in “read only” mode. The diskette should be clearly labeled with the commenter's name, proceeding (including the lead docket number in this case (CG Docket No. 03-123)), type of pleading (comment or reply comment), date of submission, and the name of the electronic file on the diskette. The label should also include the following phrase “Disk Copy—Not an Original.” Each diskette should contain only one party's pleadings, preferably in a single electronic file. In addition, commenters must send diskette copies to the Commission's contractor at Portals II, 445 12th Street, SW., Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 20554.
  • People with Disabilities: Contact the FCC to request reasonable accommodations (accessible format documents, sign language interpreters, CART, etc.) by e-mail: or phone (202) 418-0539 or TTY: (202) 418-0432.

For detailed instructions for submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

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Diane Mason, (202) 418-7126 (voice), (202) 418-7828 (TTY), or e-mail

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On March 12, 2003, the Commission released Amendment of Part 1, Subpart N of the Commission's Rules Concerning Non-Discrimination on the Basis of Disability in the Commission's Programs and Activities, Order, FCC 03-48, which published in the Federal Register at 68 FR 22315, April 28, 2003, effectuating Section 119 of the Rehabilitation, Comprehensive Services, and Developmental Disabilities Amendments of 1978, which amend Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability in programs or activities conducted by Executive agencies or the United States Postal Service. This is a summary of the Commission's document DA 07-1396, released March 23, 2007. Pursuant to §§ 1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission rules, 47 CFR 1.415 and 1.419, interested parties may file comments on or before the dates indicated on the first page of this document. Comments may be filed using: (1) The Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS), (2) the Federal Government's eRulemaking Portal, or (3) by filing paper copies. See Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, 63 FR 24121, May 1, 1998.

  • Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the ECFS:​cgb/​ecfs/​ or the Federal eRulemaking Portal: Filers should follow the instructions provided on the Web site for submitting comments.
  • For ECFS filers, if multiple docket or rulemaking numbers appear in the caption of this proceeding, filers must transmit one electronic copy of the comments for each docket or rulemaking number referenced in the caption. In completing the transmittal screen, filers should include their full name, U.S. Postal Service mailing address, and the applicable docket or rulemaking number. Parties may also submit an electronic comment by Internet e-mail. To get filing instructions, filers should send an e-mail to, and include the following words in the body of the message, “get form.” A sample form and directions will be sent in response. All comments received are viewable by the general public at any time through the Web site.
  • Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and four copies of each filing. If more than one docket or rulemaking number appears in the caption of this proceeding, filers must submit two additional copies for each additional docket or rulemaking number. Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail (although the Commission continues to experience delays in receiving U.S. Postal Service mail). All filings must be addressed to the Commission's Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission. Start Printed Page 19503
  • The Commission's contractor will receive hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission's Secretary at 236 Massachusetts Avenue, NE., Suite 110, Washington, DC 20002. The filing hours at this location are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. All hand deliveries must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes must be disposed of before entering the building.
  • Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743.
  • U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail should be addressed to 445 12th Street, SW., Washington DC 20554.

The full text of document DA 07-1396 and copies of any subsequently filed documents relating to this matter will be available for public inspection and copying during regular business hours at the FCC Reference Information Center, Portals II, 445 12th Street, SW., Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554. Document DA 07-1396 and copies of subsequently filed documents in this matter may also be purchased from the Commission's contractor at Portals II, 445 12th Street, SW., Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 20554. Customers may contact the Commission's contractor at their Web site or by calling 1-800-378-3160.

To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an e-mail to or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice) or (202) 418-0432 (TTY). Document DA 07-1396 can also be downloaded in Word and Portable Document Format (PDF) at​cgb.dro.


The Commission seeks comment on the overall accessibility of its activities and programs. This includes, but is not limited to, the availability of sign language interpreters, physically accessible buildings and meeting spaces, Braille documents, assistive listening devices, Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART), captioning, and other forms of reasonable accommodation for access to its programs and activities. The Commission furthers seeks comment on the procedures set forth in the Section 504 Handbook.

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Federal Communications Commission.

Jay Keithley,

Deputy Bureau Chief, Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau.

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Appendix A-47 CFR 1.1810. Review of Compliance

(a) The Commission shall, beginning in 2004 and at least every three years thereafter, review its current policies and practices in view of advances in relevant technology and achievability. Based on this review, the Commission shall modify its practices and procedures to ensure that the Commission's programs and activities are fully accessible.

(b) The Commission shall provide an opportunity to interested persons, including individuals with disabilities or organizations representing individuals with disabilities, to participate in the review process by submitting comments. Written comments shall be signed by the commenter or by someone authorized to do so on his or her behalf. The signature of the commenter, or signature of someone authorized by the commenter to do so on his or her behalf, shall be provided on print comments. Comments in audio, Braille, electronic, and/or video formats shall contain an affirmative identity statement of the individual, which for this purpose shall be considered to be functionally equivalent to a commenter's signature.

(c) The Commission shall maintain on file and make available for public inspection for four years following completion of the compliance review—

(1) A description of areas examined and problems identified;

(2) All comments and complaints filed regarding the Commission's compliance; and

(3) A description of any modifications made.

Appendix B-47 CFR 1.1805. Federal Communications Commission Section 504 Programs and Activities Accessibility Handbook

The Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau shall publish a “Federal Communications Commission Section 504 Programs and Activities Accessibility Handbook” (“Section 504 Handbook”) for Commission staff, and shall update the Section 504 Handbook as necessary and at least every three years. The Section 504 Handbook shall be available to the public in hard copy upon request and electronically on the Web site. The Section 504 Handbook shall contain procedures for releasing documents, holding meeting, receiving comments, and for other aspects of Commission programs and activities to achieve accessibility. These procedures will ensure that the Commission presents a consistent and complete accommodation policy pursuant to 29 U.S.C. 794, as amended. The Section 504 Handbook is for internal staff use and public information only, and is not intended to create any rights, responsibilities, or independent cause of action against the Federal Government.

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[FR Doc. E7-7256 Filed 4-17-07; 8:45 am]