093_HB0484 LRB093 05221 JLS 05281 b 1 AN ACT concerning telecommunications services. 2 Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois, 3 represented in the General Assembly: 4 Section 5. The Public Utilities Act is amended by 5 changing Section 13-703 as follows: 6 (220 ILCS 5/13-703) (from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 13-703) 7 (Section scheduled to be repealed on July 1, 2005) 8 Sec. 13-703. Services for disabled. 9 (a) The Commission shall design and implement a program 10 whereby each telecommunications carrier providing local 11 exchange service shall provide a telecommunications device 12 capable of servicing the needs of those persons with a 13
hearing or speechdisability together with a single party 14 line, at no charge additional to the basic exchange rate, to 15 any subscriber who is certified as having a hearing or speech16 disability by a licensed physician, speech-language 17 pathologist, audiologist, or a qualified State agency and to 18 any subscriber which is an organization serving the needs of 19 those persons with a hearing or speech disability as 20 determined and specified by the Commission pursuant to 21 subsection (d). 22 As used in this Section, "disability" means a physical or 23 sensory impairment that limits an individual's access to or 24 usage of telecommunications services. "Disability" includes, 25 without limitation, a speech, vision, or hearing impairment 26 and any other physical impairment that limits an individual's 27 ability to use telecommunications equipment and services. 28 (b) The Commission shall design and implement a program, 29 whereby each telecommunications carrier providing local 30 exchange service shall provide a telecommunications relay 31 system, using third party intervention to connect those -2- LRB093 05221 JLS 05281 b 1 persons having a hearing or speech disability with persons of 2 normal hearing by way of intercommunications devices and the 3 telephone system, making available reasonable access to all 4 phases of public telephone service to persons who have a 5 hearing or speech disability. In order to design a 6 telecommunications relay system which will meet the 7 requirements of those persons with a hearing or speech 8 disability available at a reasonable cost, the Commission 9 shall initiate an investigation and conduct public hearings 10 to determine the most cost-effective method of providing 11 telecommunications relay service to those persons who have a 12 hearing or speech disability when using telecommunications 13 devices and therein solicit the advice, counsel, and physical 14 assistance of Statewide nonprofit consumer organizations that 15 serve persons with hearing or speech disabilities in such 16 hearings and during the development and implementation of the 17 system. The Commission shall phase in this program, on a 18 geographical basis, as soon as is practicable, but no later 19 than June 30, 1990. 20 (c) The Commission shall establish a rate recovery 21 mechanism, authorizing charges in an amount to be determined 22 by the Commission for each line of a subscriber to allow 23 telecommunications carriers providing local exchange service 24 to recover costs as they are incurred under this Section. 25 (d) The Commission shall determine and specify those 26 organizations serving the needs of those persons having a 27 hearing or speech disability that shall receive a 28 telecommunications device and in which offices the equipment 29 shall be installed in the case of an organization having more 30 than one office. For the purposes of this Section, 31 "organizations serving the needs of those persons with 32 hearing or speech disabilities" means centers for independent 33 living as described in Section 12a of the Disabled Persons 34 Rehabilitation Act and not-for-profit organizations whose -3- LRB093 05221 JLS 05281 b 1 primary purpose is serving the needs of those persons with 2 hearing or speech disabilities. The Commission shall direct 3 the telecommunications carriers subject to its jurisdiction 4 and this Section to comply with its determinations and 5 specifications in this regard. 6 (e) As used in this Section, the phrase 7 "telecommunications carrier providing local exchange service" 8 includes, without otherwise limiting the meaning of the term, 9 telecommunications carriers which are purely mutual concerns, 10 having no rates or charges for services, but paying the 11 operating expenses by assessment upon the members of such a 12 company and no other person. 13 (Source: P.A. 88-497.) 14 Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect on 15 July 1, 2003.