As Congress moves hearings online, it needs to ensure access for all

On one Wednesday in early June, the U.S. House of Representatives held four remote committee hearings covering topics from voting to emergency preparedness. For many working in the field of congressional reform, the transition to remote committee hearings was a resounding win. Not only do remote hearings help prevent the spread of COVID-19, but they show a kind of flexibility and technical-prowess that is too often missing from the halls of the Capitol. However, while we applaud committees for continuing to function in this uncertain time, we must not forget that simply streaming a hearing online does not necessarily make it accessible. Each of the four hearings that took place on June 3rd were hosted on the Cisco Webex Virtual Platform which, unlike Microsoft Teams and Google Meet, does not have built in closed-captioning capabilities…. (Read more)

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Topics: Congress & Technology