FCC Issues Accessibility Rules for Video Programming Devices
Pursuant to the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA), the Federal Communications Commission recently adopted rules designed to permit (1) the blind or visually impaired to more easily access video programming on a range of video devices, and (2) the deaf and hard of hearing to more easily activate closed captioning on video devices. Specifically, Section 204 of the CVAA requires "digital apparatus" that receive or play back video to accompany on-screen text menus with audio output, and to build in access to those features through a button, key or icon. Section 205 of the CVAA requires "navigation devices" also to have audibly accessible on-screen menus and guides. The rules were set forth in a recent Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. Effective dates of the new rules are noted in the Advisory.