December 12, 2012 - 1:06 pm
By Rebecca Lockhart | Outreach Specialist, Consumer Affairs and Outreach Division

Technology continues to advance rapidly in today's fast paced world.  Smart phones and tablets are being sold in numbers that increase exponentially each year, and innovation is thriving at the same speed.  What is particularly exciting is the advancement of communications technologies that enhance the lives of people with disabilities.  The Accessibility and Innovation Initiative at the Federal Communications Commission has an ongoing goal to recognize outstanding private and public sector ventures in such accessibility and innovation.

Chairman Julius Genachowski is holding the second Awards for Advancement in Accessibility (Chairman's AAA) to honor engineers, researchers and other technologists who contribute to technological innovation for people with disabilities in communication-related areas. 

At last year's award ceremony, Chairman Genachowski stated "harnessing the power of technology to benefit all Americans is at the core of the FCC's mission."  This mission is especially critical when it comes to accessibility.  Empowering persons with disabilities and giving them tools to participate through new technologies enriches their lives and makes the possibilities for their future advancement seem endless.

This year's award winners were chosen in six different categories: Consumer Empowerment Information; Mobile Applications; Civic Participation Solutions; Education: College or University; Video Programming; and Geo-Location Solutions.  In addition to the winners in each of these categories, two honorable mentions will also be recognized.  

The winners of this year’s Chairman’s AAA are:

  • Consumer Empowerment Information -- Project StAR: Accessible Radio 2012/The Narrator
  • Mobile Applications -- WGBH National Center for Accessible Media: "Media Access Mobile"
  • Civic Participation Solutions -- Prime III:  A Universally Designed Voting Machine
  • Education: College or University -- Project:  Possibility SS12:  Code for a Cause
  • Video Programming -- Accessible Media Inc. (AMI); Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers
  • Geo-Location Services -- Tiramisu Transit

The Honorable Mentions are:

  • Civic Participation -- Google+ Hangouts
  • Mobile Applications -- Virtual Braille Keyboard

In addition to the awards ceremony, some of the winning projects will be on display through the end of the year at the FCC's Technology Experience Center (TEC).  The TEC is open to the public and offers a unique, hands-on opportunity for visitors to experiment with new technologies. 

Chairman Genachowski and the staff of the A&I Initiative invite you to come honor this year's winners and honorable mentions and experience the technologies for yourself.  The award ceremony will be held on December 19, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. at FCC Headquarters.  For more information on attending please see the news release.