Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010

Cathy Michael, who writes the Communications & Legal Studies blog, posts a link to the text of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010. She quotes Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski on the importance of the act:

The 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act is the most significant disability law in two decades.  The law’s provisions were endorsed in the FCC’s National Broadband Plan.  They will bring communication laws into the 21st Century, providing people with disabilities access to new broadband technologies and promoting new opportunities for innovation.

More pertinent quotes from Chairman Genachowski can be found at the Communications & Legal Studies blog and the full text of the act can be found here.

You Can’t Just say, ‘Here’s a Computer.’ You Can’t Just Say, ‘Here’s Cheap Internet,’You’ve Got to Teach a Man to Fish.

Sunset FishingEvery time I talk about transliteracy I mention this problem.

Providing access to highspeed broadband is only the first step.You have to think about the cost of hardware, the learning curve to use the hardware effectively.  After that is learning how to navigate the internet.  It’s not intuitive, there is no instruction manual and there is no formal training.

It is great that there is a national broadband plan but it does next to nothing to address the issues related the access and training once high speed is availabe.

So I love this quote from Waz: Top gadgets encourage broadband adoption

“You can’t just say, ‘Here’s a computer.’ You can’t just say, ‘Here’s cheap Internet,’” he said. “You’ve got to teach a man to fish.”

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Libraries Included in Broadband Grants Across Nation

from the ALA District Dispatch:

Libraries were well represented in the 66 BTOP and BIP awards that the White House announced today.  Several libraries were named as grantees, and a number of the awards include libraries as key components of the projects.

“It is tremendously satisfying to see libraries receive badly needed support for improving their broadband connectivity,” said Dr. Alan Inouye, director of the ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP).  “ALA and others invested a lot in advocacy and education for the library community in the past year, and we’re pleased that our efforts helped to lead to a beneficial outcome for the library community.”

Digital Literacy Skills Essential to Closing Broadband Gap #knightcomm

The Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy sites the Broadband Adoption and Use in America (pdf) report released by the Federal Communications Commission in Digital Literacy Skills Essential to Closing Broadband Gap when emphasising the importance and need for digital literacy

The survey findings reinforce the growing body of research that finds digital literacy skills are critical to bridging the gap between those who are able to fully participate in the information age and those who live as second-class citizens in informed communities

How do we close this gap? The Knight Commission recommends support and funding for public libraries.

Enhancing the information capacity and digital literacy skills of individuals isn’t limited to traditional educational institutions, however. The Commission recognized that digital skills are skills to be acquired and honed over a lifetime, and that other community institutions, organizations and individual citizens have a role to play. Along these lines, the Commission has recommended that  communities fund and support public libraries and other community institutions as centers of digital and media training, especially for adults (recommendation #7).

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