Michal Nowicki

Associate Attorney

Mr. Nowicki is an Associate Attorney at Marashlian & Donahue, PLLC. He helps clients comply with a wide range of telecommunications laws. Mr. Nowicki has advised clients on exemptions from Universal Service Fund contribution requirements, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules strengthening access to E911 emergency services, regulation of telecommunications carriers by state public utilities commissions, and other legal issues impacting the telecom industry. He has also given software developers and service providers guidance on telemarketing and call recording laws. Mr. Nowicki’s primary area of expertise, however, centers around U.S. and Canadian laws requiring access to telephone relay services, other forms of telecommunications, video content and equipment, and other digital products and services, by people with physical, sensory, and other disabilities.

Having been blind from birth, Mr. Nowicki has developed a strong personal interest in the 21st-Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) and other accessibility laws. Even well before joining Marashlian & Donahue, Mr. Nowicki helped the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) convince the FCC to deny Amazon’s petition for a permanent exemption from CVAA accessibility requirements for e-book readers. He has also worked closely with Comcast and DirecTV to ensure that both companies comply with FCC regulations requiring audio description for blind and low vision customers. Finally, Mr. Nowicki recently responded to the FCC’s request for public comments on how audio description rules have been implemented, hoping that the FCC will expand the requirements to cover video-on-demand programming and television broadcasts delivered over the Internet.

Outside the office, Mr. Nowicki is a proud leader in the Illinois affiliate of the NFB, with which he has been involved for over a decade. Since November 2020, he has served as the organization’s elected treasurer: preparing its annual budget, strategically allocating grants to attract future donations, and managing the organization’s tax obligations, among other responsibilities. Mr. Nowicki also co-chairs two important NFB of Illinois committees, which help blind Illinoisans live productive and independent lives, and shape official organization policies on a wide range of blindness issues, including website access barriers, the fundamental right to vote independently, ensuring blind parents don’t lose custody of their children solely because they cannot see, and access to high quality training on skills that are necessary to live independent, productive, and fulfilling lives.

Mr. Nowicki lives and works by the NFB philosophy, extending it beyond blindness. He believes that with proper training and opportunities, people with disabilities are as capable and productive as people without disabilities. He strongly believes in universal access to all products and services, advocating for incorporating accessibility at every step of the design process. Recognizing this often overlooked potential of people with disabilities, Mr. Nowicki actively helps clients go beyond legal compliance with accessibility laws to make their offerings inclusive for everyone, thereby tapping into a market of approximately 60 million Americans with disabilities to maximize their revenues while making the world a more inclusive place.

Mr. Nowicki was recently chosen to receive the University of Illinois College of Applied Health Sciences Harold Scharper Award. This award is named after the first student with a disability to enroll at the University of Illinois. It is given annually to a successful alum with a disability who has made significant contributions to the full integration of people with disabilities into society.

In short, Mr. Nowicki has not allowed his blindness to hold him back, and he constantly shares this positive message with clients, strategic partners, friends and colleagues with disabilities, and everyone else with whom he interacts.