ACTING CHAIRWOMAN MIGNON L. CLYBURNRe:
Accessibility of User Interfaces, and Video Programming Guides and Menus, MB Docket No. 12-
108; Accessible Emergency Information, and Apparatus Requirements for Emergency
Information and Video Description: Implementation of the Twenty-First Century
Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, MB Docket No. 12-107
The way that Americans watch video has changed profoundly in the twenty-first century. The
modern television is connected to an array of set-top boxes, video game systems, and removable media
players that allow consumers to view online video, cable and satellite video, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs.
Companies in all sectors constantly develop new solutions for consumers to use when navigating this
universe of content and viewing video, but consumers with disabilities have often been left behind
because too few of these options are accessible to them. With this Order, we adopt rules that fulfill
Congress’s goal of making these solutions available to all.
Congress adopted Sections 204 and 205 of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video
Accessibility Act of 2010 because they recognized that people with disabilities need better access to video
programming devices and navigational tools. These days, it is nearly impossible to find the channel or
show you want to watch without navigating some sort of visual guide that can only be accessed on your
television screen. But for people who are blind or visually impaired, that may leave them at risk because
they are unable to find a news channel during an emergency or frustrated by missing the hottest new show
or a big game. Likewise, it is often too difficult to switch captions and video description on and off.
Congress recognized these challenges and directed us to adopt rules to address them, and I am pleased
that we are doing just that.
This Order was carefully written to ensure that manufacturers, cable, and satellite providers have
the flexibility to comply with our rules in ways that make sense for them. It certainly helps that consumer
and industry groups found a lot of common ground as the rulemaking proceeded, and for that I am
grateful. With companies using the flexibility our rules affords them, along with guidance from those in
the disability community, to develop accessibility solutions that are as easy to use and as innovative as the
navigation solutions they continue to develop, I am hopeful that we are only at the beginning of a long,
fruitful relationship that will blossom as companies discover innovative ways to make their devices
The Media Bureau, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, and Office of General Counsel
staff members that worked on this Order and Further Notice deserve special recognition. They worked
diligently with a complex part of the statute and under an extremely tight deadline to present us with an
item that will make it easier for people with disabilities to access video programming. They are shining
examples of the important work that our federal government employees do on behalf of all Americans,
and I thank them for their service.
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