Karen Peltz Strauss is the Deputy Bureau Chief of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at the Federal Communications Commission. In this capacity, she oversees the FCC's implementation of federal laws requiring access to communication and video programming technologies by people with disabilities. This includes laws on closed captioning, telecommunications relay service, equipment access, hearing aid compatibility, and specifically, the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, landmark disability legislation addressing advanced communications services and video programming, signed by President Obama on October 8, 2010. Prior to joining the FCC, Strauss acquired nearly 30 years experience as one of the nation's premier attorneys on disability-related matters concerning telecommunications, television, and more recently the Internet. During this time, Strauss co-founded the Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology, or COAT, a coalition of over 300 national and regional organizations dedicated to ensuring disability access to emerging communications technologies.
From 2001-2010, Strauss also consulted for non-profit, governmental and private organizations on communications-related matters. In the 1980s and 1990s, Strauss was a supervising legal attorney at Gallaudet University's National Center for Law and Deafness and legal counsel for the National Association of the Deaf, during which time she drafted various federal laws requiring disability access to telecommunications products and services and video programming.
In 2006, Strauss published A New Civil Right: Telecommunications Equality for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Americans, a comprehensive book on the history and scope of the forty-year telecommunications access movement by the deaf and hard of hearing community in America. On May 13, 2011, Strauss received an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa from Gallaudet University for her work to expand communications access for people with disabilities. Strauss also holds a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and an L.L.M. from the Georgetown University Law Center.