(1)The general assembly hereby finds, determines, and declares that many of Colorado’s residents are unable to utilize telecommunications facilities without assistance and are therefore telephone users with disabilities. Telephone users with disabilities include people who are deaf, hard of hearing, speech-impaired, deaf-blind, blind and visually impaired, and those with central nervous system disabilities. Telephone users with disabilities constitute a substantial and valuable resource within the United States and the state of Colorado, and this segment of our population needs access to telecommunications facilities in order to be contributing and productive members of our society. The role of telecommunications in our world today is inestimable. Telecommunications is the primary vehicle of commerce and industry, the means to convey and receive information and knowledge, and is one of the ways we communicate with others on a personal as well as business level. Telecommunications results in greater independence and self-sufficiency by expanding the channels for employment opportunities, the market for goods and services, human contact, and fellowship. Telephone users with disabilities should have equal access to this critical tool, not only for their own sake, but for the benefit of society at large. The ability to use telecommunications will enhance the business and personal lives of telephone users with disabilities while stimulating and promoting economic development in Colorado. The general assembly recognizes the vitality and potential of Colorado’s individuals with disabilities, including telephone users with disabilities. Telecommunications is vital to our society, and supporting its availability to telephone users with disabilities is a beneficial investment for all of Colorado.
(2)The general assembly therefore concludes that it is appropriate to provide access to telecommunications for telephone users with disabilities by establishing telecommunications relay services that replace and expand the dual party relay system required pursuant to this article as the article existed prior to July 1, 1992.
Section 40-17-101 — Legislative declaration,
https://leg.colorado.gov/sites/default/files/images/olls/crs2023-title-40.pdf (accessed Oct. 20, 2023).