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A New Civil Right: Telecommunications Equality for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Americans

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33. Denver Commission on the Disabled, letter to FCC, November 22, 1977.

34. Amendment of the Primers on Ascertainment of Community Problems by Broadcast Renewal Applicants, Memorandum Opinion and Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, BC Dkt. 78-237, FCC 78-583, 43 Fed. Reg. 35357 (August 9, 1978) (commercial stations); Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 43 Fed. Reg. 41241 (September 15, 1978) (noncommercial stations).

35. License Renewal Applications of Certain Television Stations Licensed For and Serving Los Angeles, California, Memorandum Opinion and Order, FCC 78-599, 69 FCC 2d 451 (September 8, 1978), recon. denied, 72 FCC 2d 273 (June 15, 1979).

36. Petition for Reconsideration of Community Action, Memorandum Opinion and Order, FCC 79-320, 72 FCC 2d 273 (June 15, 1979).

37. Amendment of the Primers on Ascertainment of Community Problems by Commercial Broadcast Renewal Applicants and Non-commercial Educational Broadcast Applicants, Permittees, and Licensees, Report and Order, BC Dkt. 78-237, FCC 80-134, 76 FCC 2d 401, 411 (April 4, 1980), ¶23.

38. The Revision of Programming and Commercialization Policies, Ascertainment Requirements, and Program Log Requirements for Commercial Television Stations, Report and Order, MM Dkt. 83-70, 98 FCC 2d 1076 (1984); recon. denied, 104 FCC 2d 358 (1986).

39. Comments of NCLD and NAD in MM Dkt. 83-70 (October 17, 1983). To a very limited extent, the FCC would revive the community ascertainment concept under a new name nearly two decades later. Specifically, in 2004, the Commission would set up a series of “localism” hearings in cities around the country, offering an opportunity for consumers to share their concerns about local television programming with the FCC. Deaf consumers would use these forums to testify on the ongoing need for real-time captioning of emergency information.

40. Gottfried v. FCC, 655 F. 2d 297 (D.C. Cir. 1981).

41. Gottfried v. FCC, 655 F. 2d at 301. The court of appeals also rejected an argument, made by ABC, NBC, Metromedia, and others who had intervened on behalf of the California stations, that an FCC captioning mandate would regulate content in violation of the first amendment. An attack on captioning based on first amendment considerations would resurfaced many years later when Congress undertook consideration of comprehensive captioning mandates in the 1990s.

42. Community Television of Southern California v. Gottfried, 459 U.S. 498 (1983).

43. HEW issued its first regulations implementing Section 504 on May 4, 1977. Pursuant to Executive Order 11914, 41 Fed. Reg. 17871 (April 29, 1976), the following year, HEW also issued regulations to coordinate implementation of Section 504 for all federal agencies, See 43 Fed. Reg. 2132 (January 13, 1978), originally codified at 45 C.F.R Part 84.

44. The U.S. Department of Education redesignated the guidelines at 28 C.F.R. Part 41.

45. Executive Order 12250, 45 Fed. Reg. 72995 (November 4, 1980), codified at 42 U.S.C. §2000d-1; 28 C.F.R. Part 36.

46. Amendment of Regulation Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, to Define Rights of Hearing Impaired Persons to Access to Television Programs, 46 Fed. Reg. 4954 (January 19, 1981). NCLD submitted comments on behalf of the deaf community, urging the agency to require open captions. Comments of NCLD (March 5, 1981).

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