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TRS Rate Order; Speech-to-Speech; Closed Captioning Exemptions; Localism

To: Consumer Contact List
From: Karen Peltz Strauss, RERC-TA
Re: Consumer Contact List - Various Matters
Date: July 13, 2004

1. TRS Rate Order - In my last update, I provided a detailed summary of the June 30th FCC Report and Order on TRS. I mentioned that at the same time that the FCC released the omnibus R&O, the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau released a rate order reducing the per minute compensation rate for VRS from $8.85 to $7.29. Below is the URL for this rate order.

TELECOMMUNICATIONS RELAY SERVICES AND SPEECH-TO-SPEECH SERVICES FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH HEARING AND SPEECH DISABILITIES. Conditionally approved NECA's proposed TRS provider compensation rates for traditional TRS and IP Relay, STS, and VRS for the July 1, 2004, to June 30, 2005, fund year. (Dkt No. 98-67). Action by: Chief, Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau. Adopted: 06/30/2004 by ORDER. (DA No. 04-1999). CGB <> <> <>

2. Highland Park Baptist Church - request for captioning exemption

Released: 07/02/2004. REQUEST FOR EXEMPTION FROM COMMISSION'S CLOSED CAPTIONING RULES (CSR 6316). (DA No. 04-2018). MB. Contact: Sonia Greenaway-Mickle or Steve Garner at (202) 418-7200, TTY: (202) 418-7172


3. Localism - Several decades ago, the FCC used to conduct what was known as "ascertainment," - i.e., the agency ascertained the manner in which broadcasters were meeting the needs of their communities. Ascertainment was eliminated in the late 1970s/early 1980s, but new efforts by the FCC to determine the extent to which broadcasters are meeting the needs of their viewers have taken the form of localism hearings held throughout the United States. Below is information about the next localism hearing, to be held in California, as well as a new Notice of Inquiry on Localism. I searched the NOI for any reference to disability and could not find any, but there may be something hidden. Even if there is not, many general questions are asked that can apply to people with disabilities.

BROADCAST LOCALISM. Issued a Notice of Inquiry regarding broadcaster service to the needs and interests of their communities. (Dkt No. 04-233). Action by: the Commission. Comments Due: 09/01/2004. Reply Comments Due: 10/01/2004. Adopted: 06/07/2004 by NOI. (FCC No. 04-129). MB <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NEWS MEDIA CONTACTS: July 9, 2004 Richard Diamond (202) 418-0506 Meribeth McCarrick (202) 418-0654



Washington, D.C. Today the Federal Communications Commission's Localism Task Force announces further details about its fourth broadcast localism hearing to facilitate public participation. The purpose of these hearings is to gather information from consumers, industry, civic organizations, and others on broadcasters' service to their local communities. An important focus of the hearings will be to gather information and to conduct outreach for the ongoing nationwide round of broadcast station license renewals.

The date, time, and location of the fourth hearing are:

Date: July 21, 2004Time: 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Place: Monterey Conference Center Steinbeck Forum, Third Floor One Portola Plaza Monterey, California 93940


Parking is available in the Custom House East and West public parking garages on Del Monte and Tyler Streets. Please see the attached document entitled "Monterey Conference Center Location and Parking" for directions to the center, a map of its location, and some nearby parking facilities. More information about nearby parking (including hours of operation, directions, and rates) is also available at

Admission Tickets

To avoid the need for the public to line up for the hearing, the Task Force will distribute free, general admission tickets on a first-come, first-served basis in advance of the hearing. A ticket guarantees admission to the hearing. One ticket will be issued to each person. To make it easy for members of the public to pick up an admission ticket, tickets will be available before, during and after regular business hours as follows:

Ticket Distribution Opportunity #1:Date and 8:00 p.m. Time: Monday, July 19, 2004, 6:00 p.m. (two evenings before the hearing) Location: Steinbeck Forum Terrace (corner of Pacific Street & Del Monte Avenue, across from the Hotel Pacific), Monterey Conference Center, One Portola Plaza Number of Tickets: 150 tickets will be available (approximately 40% of the public seating in the hearing room)

Ticket Distribution Opportunity #2:Date and 1:00 p.m. Time: Wednesday, July 21, 2004, 7:00 a.m. (the day of the hearing) Location: Steinbeck Forum Terrace (corner of Pacific Street & Del Monte Avenue, across from the Hotel Pacific), Monterey Conference Center, One Portola Plaza Number of Tickets: All remaining tickets will be available

Any tickets that remain after the close of the second distribution opportunity will be available when the hearing room is opened for seating, at approximately 5:30 p.m. Therefore, those who do not get a ticket beforehand may still request one at the hearing and will be admitted until the capacity of the hearing room is reached.

Format of Hearing

The hearing will include panels of speakers, comprised of representatives of community and advocacy groups and broadcasters. The panels have been designed to be balanced and informative. As in past hearings, a substantial portion of the hearing will be dedicated to hearing from members of the public during an open microphone segment.

Open Microphone

In order to ensure that all members of the public who wish to speak have an equal opportunity to do so, the Task Force will use a random method to select speakers during the open microphone session. Anyone who wishes to speak must draw a card with a "Group Number" pre-printed on it (for example: "Group 25"). There are a total of 10 cards for each group. During the open microphone segment, the Task Force will randomly select group numbers and then display them on screens in the hearing room. If a person's group number is displayed, that person may proceed to the open microphone check-in area. An FCC staff member will then direct them to the microphone at the appropriate time. These procedures, as well as additional details on participating in the open microphone segment and procedures for filing written comments, are provided in the attached document regarding public participation. This public participation fact sheet will also be included in the information packet given to each person upon entering the hearing.

To further assist members of the public in participating in the Monterey hearing, the Task Force has also prepared two background documents, the attached fact sheet about broadcast localism, and a list of five questions that the public might consider as they listen to the hearing and formulate their remarks. This background material will also be included in the public packets provided to all who attend the hearing.

Translation, Captioning and Other Accommodations

Simultaneous translation of the hearing will be provided in Spanish via wireless headsets. Open captioning will also be provided for this event. Other reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request. Requests should include a description of the accommodation needed, providing as much detail as possible, as well as contact information, should additional information be needed. Please make requests as early as possible. All requests will be accepted and every effort will be made to fulfill them, although timing considerations may make that impossible in some cases. Send requests via e-mail to, or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau:

For sign language interpreters, CART, and other reasonable accommodations: 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (TTY).

For accessible format materials (Braille, large print, electronic files, and audio format): 202-418-0531 (voice), 202-418-7365 (TTY).

A live audiocast of the hearing will be available at the FCC's website at on a first-come, first-served basis. In addition, the hearing will be recorded, and the recording will be made available to the public. The public may also file comments or other documents with the Commission and should reference RM-10803. Filing instructions are provided at

For additional information about the hearing or the Localism Task Force, please visit the Task Force's website at, or contact the Task Force directly at 202-418-7777, or at Press inquiries should be directed to Richard Diamond at 202-418-0506, or Meribeth McCarrick at 202-418-0654.

This page last updated:July 13, 2004

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