WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) has developed the ASL Consumer Support Line to better accommodate deaf and hard of hearing consumers. The technology allows deaf and hard of hearing consumers to communicate via video call with a consumer specialist at the FCC to address their problems or questions immediately.


According to a FCC video made about the consumer support line, when contacting the FCC with a complaint about disability related matters such as closed captioning, telecommunication relay services, and access to emergency information on television, deaf and hard of hearing patrons can dial: 844-4-FCC-ASL , 844-432-2275 or 202-810-0444 Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET to be put through to a fellow ASL user.


According to the FCC website, the FCC “regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. Territories.”


“The agency capitalizes on its competencies in promoting competition, innovation and investment in broadband services and facilities; supporting the nation’s economy by ensuring an appropriate competitive framework for the unfolding of the communications revolution; encouraging the highest and best use of spectrum domestically and internationally; revising media regulations so that new technologies flourish alongside diversity and localism; and providing leadership in strengthening the defense of the nation’s communications infrastructure.”


The Chief of the FCC Disability Rights Office, Greg Hlilbok posted to their blog on June 11 that the “The direct ASL video concept was first conceived by FCC staff members in the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau’s Disability Rights Office who have observed that direct access to communication, rather than through intermediaries such as interpreters or video relay service (VRS), provide greater autonomy to the consumers.”


The technology will allow deaf and hard of hearing consumers to convey their message without the fear that they are not being understood. To read more about the new ASL Consumer Support Line, visit: http://www.fcc.gov/blog/fcc-launches-direct-video-communication-access-help-consumers-who-are-deaf-and-hard-hearing.