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Deaf Awareness Month & You: Working Together for Accessible Communications

  • Cumberland County DSS 1225 Ramsey Street Fayetteville, NC, 28301 United States (map)

Workshop Description

The presenter will give an overview of the FCC’s rules and policies, as well as recent efforts, with respect to disability-related matters, including access to telecommunications services and equipment, video programming (closed-captioning), telecommunications relay services, and emergency communications. 



Debra Patkin is an attorney advisor with the Disability Rights Office of the Consumer (DROC) and Governmental Affairs Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  Debra joined the FCC in 2018 and the scope of her work includes rulemaking proceedings and relevant activities to ensure access to emergency communications and video programming for individuals with disabilities.  She is also the deputy Designed Federal Officer of the FCC’s Disability Advisory Committee.  Debra began her legal career with the Disability Rights Legal Center in Los Angeles, California, where she managed a litigation and appellate caseload of claims under Title II and Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other disability right statutes.  Debra then worked at the National Association of the Deaf as a staff attorney where she focused on civil rights litigation filed on behalf of deaf and hard of hearing individuals to enforce the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act.  Debra received her J.D. from the UCLA School of Law, M.A. from Gallaudet University, and B.S. from Rochester Institute of Technology.