Are You Ready for Big Switch? - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Are You Ready for Big Switch?

Washington, DC - In less than two months, the government-mandated DTV Transition will require millions of Americans to take action in order to maintain access to free over-the-air television and important emergency announcements. While supplies last, the government is offering two free $40 coupons per household to help cover the cost of digital converter boxes that will keep viewers connected.

As friends and families finish up their holiday shopping and prepare to visit relatives, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund (LCCREF) encourages families to ensure their loved ones are ready for the digital television transition. Families on fixed incomes, seniors, people with disabilities, communities of color, and those who speak languages other than English are most likely to be affected by the transition.

"As families come together this holiday season, we are urging folks to check in with their loved ones to make sure they are ready for the DTV transition. People who don't have cable, satellite service, or a new TV need to order their DTV converter box coupons in the next couple weeks in order to get their converter boxes in time for the February 17th transition," said Wade Henderson, president of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, noting that it takes about a month for coupons to arrive. "This transition is about access to life-saving public service announcements. It's about letting communities know when a hurricane is about to strike, a snowstorm threatens a white out, that a fire is blazing toward it, or that there is a natural or national disaster."

LCCREF, through a partnership with NTIA and community organizations, will provide on-the-ground assistance in seven cities with at-risk communities: Atlanta, GA; Detroit, MI; Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN; Portland, OR; San Antonio, TX; San Francisco- San Jose-Oakland CA; and Seattle-Tacoma, WA.

A part of this campaign, include brick and mortar DTV Assistance Centers that will be hubs for information and technical assistance on the transition to digital. These DTV Assistance Centers will hold trainings and events to provide DTV-related assistance to members of impacted populations and local community members.

For more information on how the DTV transition will impact vulnerable communities, visit: http://www.civilrights.org/dtv/. To order coupons or for more information on the DTV transition, go to: www.DTV2009.gov.

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