Skip Navigation

Federal Communications Commission

English Display Options

Commission Document

CVAA Report to Congress

Download Options

Released: October 5, 2012

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of
)
)

Implementation of Sections 716 and 717 of the
)
CG Docket No. 10-213
Communications Act of 1934, as Enacted by
)
the Twenty-First Century Communications and )
Video Accessibility Act of 2010
)

BIENNIAL REPORT TO CONGRESS

AS REQUIRED BY THE

TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY COMMUNICATIONS

AND VIDEO ACCESSIBILITY ACT OF 2010

Adopted: October 5, 2012 Released: October 5, 2012

By the Acting Chief, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau:
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Paragraph #
I.
INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW ...............................................................................1
II.
COMMUNICATIONS ACCESSIBILITY
A.
Background
1.
Section 255 ................................................................................................8
2.
Section 716 ................................................................................................9
3.
Section 718 ..............................................................................................12
4.
Implementation of Sections 716, 717, and 718 .......................................13
5.
Scope of this First Biennial Report ........................................................15
B.
Compliance with Sections 255, 716, and 718 ......................................................17
C.
Accessibility Barriers in New Communications Technologies ............................42
D.
Complaints Received Pursuant to Section 717.....................................................47
1.
Number and Nature of Complaints Received .........................................51
2.
Actions Taken to Resolve Such Complaints ..........................................54
3.
Time to Resolve Each Complaint ...........................................................57
4.
Actions for Mandamus and Appeals Filed .............................................58
E.
Effect of Section 717’s Recordkeeping and Enforcement Requirements on the
Development and Deployment of New Communications Technologies..............59
F.
Conclusion ...........................................................................................................64
III.
COMMISSION ACTIONS TO IMPLEMENT THE CVAA ...........................................74
A.
Section 102. Hearing aid compatibility. .............................................................75
B.
Section 103. Relay services. ...............................................................................79
C.
Section 104. Access to advanced communications services and equipment. .....84
D.
Section 105. National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program. ................94
E.
Section 106. Emergency Access Advisory Committee. .....................................98

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

F.
Section 201. Video Programming Access Advisory Committee. .....................103
G.
Section 202. Video description and closed captioning. ....................................107
H.
Section 203. Closed captioning decoder and video description capability. ......115
I.
Section 204. User interfaces on digital apparatus. ............................................120
J.
Section 205. Access to video programming guides and menus provided on
navigation devices. ............................................................................................122
K.
Other Accessibility-Related Commission Activities. ........................................124
APPENDIX A: List of Commenters
APPENDIX B: Commission Actions to Implement the CVAA
APPENDIX C: Commission Outreach and Education
APPENDIX D: CVAA Consumer Guides

I.

INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW

1.
The Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB) of the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC or Commission), pursuant to its delegated authority,1
prepared this Biennial Report (Report) for submission to the Committee on Commerce, Science,
and Transportation of the Senate, and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of
Representatives (to the Committees or to Congress) in accordance with the Twenty-First Century
Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA).2 The purpose of the CVAA is to
“update the communications laws to help ensure that individuals with disabilities are able to fully
utilize communications services and equipment and better access video programming.”3 In
enacting the CVAA, Congress noted that the communications marketplace had undergone a
“fundamental transformation” since it last acted on these issues in 1996 when it added Section
255 to the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (Communications Act).4 Although Section
255 addressed the accessibility of telecommunications services and equipment, Congress since
concluded that people with disabilities often have not shared in the benefits of this rapid
technological advancement.5 Implementation of the CVAA is a critical step in addressing this
inequity.
2.
Following passage of the CVAA on October 8, 2010, the Commission began
implementing this landmark legislation by releasing multiple public notices and six notices of
proposed rulemakings seeking comment on CVAA-related issues. In addition, it established and
has since overseen the work of two advisory committees required by the CVAA, both of which
timely completed their CVAA-assigned charges.6 Throughout this implementation period, the
agency has worked with consumer, industry, and government stakeholders to ensure effective and


1 47 C.F.R. § 0.361.
2 Pub. L. No. 111-260, 124 Stat. 2751 (2010) (as codified in various sections of 47 U.S.C.); Pub. L. 111-
265, 124 Stat. 2795 (2010) (making technical corrections to the CVAA). The foregoing are collectively
referred to hereinafter as the CVAA. See also CVAA, § 104(a); codified at 47 U.S.C. § 618(b). This
Report is being submitted concurrently to Congress.
3 S. Rep. No. 111-386 at 1 (2010) (Senate Report); H.R. Rep. No. 111-563 at 19 (2010) (House Report).
4 Id.; 47 U.S.C. § 255.
5 See Senate Report at 1-2; House Report at 19.
6 CVAA, §§ 106 (Emergency Access Advisory Committee), 201 (Video Programming and Emergency
Access Advisory Committee).
2

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

timely implementation of the new law. As a result, the Commission has, since passage of the new
law, already released five reports and orders adopting rules to implement various provisions of
the CVAA and has met every one of the CVAA’s rigorous rulemaking deadlines.7 Resources
throughout the Commission, from virtually every bureau and office within the Commission, have
contributed to this effort. We understand the importance of this legislation to the millions of
Americans with disabilities and we are committed to continuing to fully meet our responsibilities
under the CVAA.
3.
In accordance with the CVAA, Section II of this Report presents information and
assessments related to the accessibility of telecommunications and advanced communications
services and equipment.8 Section II.A provides a general overview of Sections 255, 716, and 718
of the Communications Act, which are the statutory provisions governing accessible
communications, followed by a brief discussion of the Commission’s actions to implement
Section 716, 717(a), and 718, and the scope of this first biennial Report. 9 Sections 716, 717, and


7 Since the enactment of the CVAA, the Commission has released the following reports and
orders:
Implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010,
Section 105, Relay Services for Deaf-Blind Individuals
, CG Docket No. 10-210, Report and Order,
FCC 11-56, 26 FCC Rcd 5640 (2011) (establishing the National Deaf-Blind Equipment
Distribution Program), available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-11-
56A1.pdf.
Video Description: Implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video
Accessibility Act of 2010
, MB Docket No. 11-43, Report and Order, FCC 11-126, 26 FCC Rcd
11847 (2011) (reinstating the Commission’s video description rules, as modified by the CVAA),
available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-11-126A1.pdf.
Contributions to the Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) Fund, CG Docket No. 11-47,
Report and Order, FCC 11-150, 26 FCC Rcd 14532 (2011) (requiring VoIP service providers to
contribute to the TRS Fund), available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-
11-150A1.pdf.
Implementation of Sections 716 and 717 of the Communications Act of 1934, as Enacted by the
Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010; Amendments to the
Commission’s Rules Implementing Sections 255 and 251(a)(2) of the Communications Act of
1934, as Enacted by the Telecommunications Act of 1996; and In the Matter of Accessible Mobile
Phone Options for People who are Blind, Deaf-Blind, or Have Low Vision
, CG Docket Nos. 10-
213 and 10-145, WT Docket No. 96-198, Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking, FCC 11-151, 26 FCC Rcd 14557 (2011) (ACS Report and Order and ACS FNPRM)
(requiring accessible advanced communications services and equipment and establishing
recordkeeping and enforcement requirements for entities covered under Sections 255, 716, and
718 of the Communications Act), available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-11-151A1.pdf.
Closed Captioning of Internet Protocol-Delivered Video Programming: Implementation of the
Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010
, MB Docket No. 11-
154, Report and Order, FCC 12-9, 27 FCC Rcd 787 (2012) (requiring closed captioning of video
programming delivered using Internet protocol after such programming was shown on television
and updating apparatus closed captioning requirements), available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-12-9A1.pdf.
8 CVAA, § 104(a); codified at 47 U.S.C. § 618(b).
9 47 U.S.C. §§ 255, 617, 618(a), 619.
3

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

718 are among the new provisions added to the Communications Act by the CVAA.10 Sections
716 and 718 expand the scope of the Communications Act’s accessibility requirements to cover
advanced communications services and equipment, and Internet browsers built into mobile
phones, respectively. Section 717(a) addresses the recordkeeping and enforcement obligations of
service providers and equipment manufacturers that are subject to Sections 255, 716, and 718.
4.
Sections II.B, C, D, and E of this Report present the information which the
Commission must submit to Congress every two years after October 8, 2010, the date of
enactment of the CVAA, as required by Section 717(b)(1) of the Communications Act.11 The
Report must include the following information and assessments:12
(A)
An assessment of the level of compliance with Sections 255 (accessibility of
telecommunications services and equipment), 716 (accessibility of advanced
communications services and equipment), and 718 (accessibility of Internet
browsers built into mobile phones). See, infra, Section II.B.
(B)
An evaluation of the extent to which any accessibility barriers still exist with
respect to new communications technologies. See, infra, Section II.C.
(C)
The number and nature of complaints received pursuant to Section 717(a)
(recordkeeping and enforcement obligations of service providers and equipment
manufacturers that are subject to Sections 255, 716, and 718) during the two years
that are the subject of the report. See, infra, Section II.D.1.
(D)
A description of the actions taken to resolve such complaints, including forfeiture
penalties assessed. See, infra, Section II.D.2.
(E)
The length of time that was taken by the Commission to resolve each such
complaint. See, infra, Section II.D.3.
(F)
The number, status, nature, and outcome of any actions for mandamus filed and of
any appeals filed. See, infra, Section II.D.4.
(G)
An assessment of the effect of the recordkeeping and enforcement requirements of
Section 717 on the development and deployment of new communications
technologies.13 See, infra, Section II.E.
5.
To inform the Commission’s preparation of the report, the Commission released
a public notice on July 12, 2012, inviting comments related to the development of the Report (the
CVAA Assessment PN).14 Those comments, though sparse, helped to inform the Commission’s
tentative findings.15 On August 23, 2012, the Commission released a public notice seeking
comment on its tentative findings pursuant to Section 717(b)(2) of the Communications Act (the


10 CVAA, § 104(a); 47 U.S.C. §§ 617, 618, 619.
11 47 U.S.C. § 618(b)(1).
12 For convenience, in the list of required information and assessments, each item is cross-referenced to the
section of the Report addressing that item.
13 47 U.S.C. §§ 618(b)(1)(A)-(G).
14 Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Seeks Comment on the Accessibility of Communications
Technologies for the First Biennial Report Under the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video
Accessibility Act
, CG Docket No. 10-213, Public Notice, DA 12-1125, 27 FCC Rcd 7693, released July 12,
2012 (CVAA Assessment PN), available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-12-
1125A1.pdf.
15 Only four comments were filed by consumer groups and three industry parties filed comments. See
Appendix A for a list of commenters.
4

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

CVAA Tentative Findings PN).16 Comments in response to the CVAA Tentative Findings PN
were also sparse.17
6.
Section II.F concludes this section of the Report by summarizing the comments
received in response to the CVAA Tentative Findings PN and affirming those tentative findings,
which are presented as findings in this Report.18
7.
Finally, Section III of this Report presents a summary of other actions taken by
the Commission related to the CVAA during the previous two years.

II.

COMMUNICATIONS ACCESSIBILITY

A.

Background

1.

Section 255

8.
Section 255 of the Communications Act, enacted in 1996, requires providers of
telecommunications service and manufacturers of telecommunications equipment or customer
premises equipment (CPE) to ensure that such services and equipment are accessible to and
usable by individuals with disabilities, if readily achievable.19 When these requirements are not
readily achievable, covered entities must ensure that their services and equipment are compatible
with existing peripheral devices or specialized CPE commonly used by individuals with
disabilities to achieve access, if readily achievable.20 The Commission’s rules implementing
Section 255 govern telecommunications services, including telephone calls, call waiting, speed
dialing, call forwarding, computer-provided directory assistance, call monitoring, caller
identification, call tracing, and repeat dialing.21 Equipment covered under Section 255 includes,
but is not limited to, CPE, such as wireline, cordless, and wireless telephones, fax machines, and
answering machines.22 In addition, the rules implementing Section 255 cover voice mail and


16 47 U.S.C. § 618(b)(2); Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Seeks Comment on its Tentative
Findings About the Accessibility of Communications Technologies for the First Biennial Report Under the
Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act
, CG Docket No. 10-213, Public Notice,
DA 12-1391, 27 FCC Rcd ___, released August 23, 2012 (CVAA Tentative Findings PN), available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-12-1391A1.pdf.
17 Only three consumer groups, one consumer, and two industry parties filed comments. See Appendix A
for a list of commenters.
18 See ¶¶ 39-41 (findings on compliance with Sections 255, 716, and 718), ¶¶ 45-46 (findings on
accessibility barriers in new communications technologies), and ¶ 63 (findings on the effect of Section
717’s recordkeeping and enforcement requirements on the development and deployment of new
communications technologies).
19 47 U.S.C. §§ 255(b), (c). See also 47 C.F.R. Part 6 and Part 7. “Readily achievable” is defined as
“easily accomplishable and able to be carried out without much difficulty or expense.” 42 U.S.C. §
12181(9).
20 47 U.S.C. § 255(d).
21 See Implementation of Sections 255 and 251(a)(2) of the Communications Act of 1934, as Enacted by the
Telecommunications Act of 1996: Access to Telecommunications Service, Telecommunications Equipment
and Customer Premises Equipment by Persons with Disabilities
, Report and Order and Further Notice of
Inquiry, 16 FCC Rcd 6417, 6449, ¶ 77 (1999) (Section 255 Order). See also 47 C.F.R. Part 6.
22 The Communications Act defines telecommunications equipment as “equipment, other than customer
premises equipment, used by a carrier to provide telecommunications services, and includes software
5

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

interactive voice response systems (phone systems that provide callers with menus of choices).23
In 2007, the Commission adopted rules extending Section 255’s accessibility obligations to
interconnected voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) service providers and interconnected VoIP
equipment manufacturers.24
2.

Section 716

9.
Section 716 of the Communications Act requires providers of advanced
communications services and manufacturers of equipment used for advanced communications
services to ensure that their services and equipment are accessible to and usable by individuals
with disabilities, unless doing so is not achievable (defined as “with reasonable effort or
expense”).25 This requirement may be satisfied by: (1) building accessibility into the service or
equipment;26 or (2) by using third-party applications, peripheral devices, software, hardware, or
CPE that is available to consumers at nominal cost and that individuals with disabilities can
access.27 When ensuring accessibility through either of those options is not achievable, covered
entities must ensure that their services and equipment are compatible with existing peripheral
devices or specialized CPE commonly used by individuals with disabilities to achieve access,
unless that is not achievable.28
10.
“Advanced communications services” include: (1) interconnected VoIP service;
(2) non-interconnected VoIP service; (3) electronic messaging service; and (4) interoperable
video conferencing service.29 In contrast to interconnected VoIP services, which enable people to
make and receive calls to and from the public switched telephone network (PSTN), non-
interconnected VoIP services include services that enable real-time voice communications either
to or from the PSTN (but not both) or which neither begin nor end on the PSTN at all.30
Electronic messaging services, such as e-mail, short message service (SMS) text messaging, and
instant messaging, enable real-time or near real-time text messages between individuals over
communications networks.31 Interoperable video conferencing services provide real-time video
communications, including audio, to enable users to share information.32




integral to such equipment (including upgrades).” 47 U.S.C. § 153(52). It defines “customer premises
equipment” as “equipment employed on the premises of a person (other than a carrier) to originate, route or
terminate telecommunications.” 47 U.S.C. § 153(16).
23 47 C.F.R. Part 7. See also FCC Section 255 Consumer Guide available at
http://www.fcc.gov/guides/disabled-persons-telecommunications-access-section-255.
24 Implementation of Sections 255 and 251(a)(2) of the Communications Act of 1934, as Enacted by the
Telecommunications Act of 1996: Access to Telecommunications Service, Telecommunications Equipment
and Customer Premises Equipment by Persons with Disabilities; Telecommunications Relay Services and
Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities
, Report and Order, FCC
07-110, 22 FCC Rcd 11275 (2007).
25 47 U.S.C. §§ 617(a)(1), (b)(1), (g).
26 47 U.S.C. §§ 617(a)(2)(A), (b)(2)(A).
27 47 U.S.C. §§ 617(a)(2)(B), (b)(2)(B).
28 47 U.S.C. §§ 617(c).
29 47 U.S.C. § 153(1). See also 47 C.F.R. § 14.10(c).
30 See 47 U.S.C. §§ 153(25), 153(36); 47 C.F.R. § 9.3.
31 47 U.S.C. § 153(19).
32 47 U.S.C. § 153(27).
6

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

11.
Section 716 of the Communications Act does not apply to services or equipment,
including interconnected VoIP services and equipment, which were subject to Section 255 on
October 7, 2010.33 Those services and equipment remain subject to the requirements of Section
255.34 As a result, Section 716 requirements apply to providers of non-interconnected VoIP
services, electronic messaging services, and interoperable video conferencing services, and to
manufacturers of equipment used for these services.
3.

Section 718

12.
Section 718 requires mobile phone service providers and manufacturers to make
Internet browsers built into mobile phones accessible to and usable by people who are blind or
have a visual impairment, unless doing so is not achievable.35 This requirement may be satisfied
with or without the use of third-party applications, peripheral devices, software, hardware, or
CPE that is available to consumers at nominal cost and that individuals with disabilities can
access.36
4.

Implementation of Sections 716, 717, and 718

13.
After the CVAA was enacted, the Commission sought comment on the new
communications accessibility provisions of the CVAA.37 The comments received in response to
that public notice helped to inform the Commission’s notice of proposed rulemaking, released
March 3, 2011.38 On October 7, 2011, the Commission released a report and order adopting rules
to implement Sections 716 and 717 of the Communications Act and a further notice of proposed
rulemaking addressing related matters and seeking comment on issues concerning the
implementation of Section 718 of the Communications Act.39


33 47 U.S.C. § 617(f).
34 Id.
35 47 U.S.C. § 619(a).
36 47 U.S.C. § 619(b).
37 Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau and Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Seek Comment on
Advanced Communication Provisions of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility
Act of 2010
, CG Docket No. 10-213, Public Notice, DA 10-2029, 25 FCC Rcd 14589, released October 21,
2010 (ACS PN), available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-10-2029A1.pdf.
38 Implementation of Sections 716 and 717 of the Communications Act of 1934, as Enacted by the Twenty-
First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010; Amendments to the Commission’s
Rules Implementing Sections 255 and 251(a)(2) of the Communications Act of 1934, as Enacted by the
Telecommunications Act of 1996; and In the Matter of Accessible Mobile Phone Options for People who
are Blind, Deaf-Blind, or Have Low Vision
, CG Docket Nos. 10-213 and 10-145, WT Docket No. 96-198,
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, FCC 11-37, 26 FCC Rcd 3133 (2011) (ACS NPRM), available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-11-37A1.pdf.
39 Implementation of Sections 716 and 717 of the Communications Act of 1934, as Enacted by the Twenty-
First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010; Amendments to the Commission’s
Rules Implementing Sections 255 and 251(a)(2) of the Communications Act of 1934, as Enacted by the
Telecommunications Act of 1996; and In the Matter of Accessible Mobile Phone Options for People who
are Blind, Deaf-Blind, or Have Low Vision
, CG Docket Nos. 10-213 and 10-145, WT Docket No. 96-198,
Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, FCC 11-151, 26 FCC Rcd 14557 (2011)
(ACS Report and Order when referring to the report and order portion; and ACS FNPRM when referring to
the further notice of proposed rulemaking portion), available at
7

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

14.
The rules adopted by the Commission in the ACS Report and Order became
effective January 30, 2012.40 Since that date, manufacturers and service providers have been
required to take accessibility into account in the design of their products and services.41 One year
later, beginning on January 30, 2013, covered manufacturers and service providers must comply
with recordkeeping requirements pertaining to the accessibility of their products and services.42
Under the transition period established by the Commission, covered equipment and services must
fully comply with the rules implementing Section 716 by October 8, 2013.43 In accordance with
the CVAA, Section 718 of the Communications Act also becomes effective on October 8, 2013.44
Finally, the associated complaint procedures established pursuant to Section 717 of the
Communications Act will be available to consumers on October 8, 2013.45
5.

Scope of this First Biennial Report

15.
The evaluation of compliance with Sections 716 and 718 in this first biennial
Report is, of necessity, circumscribed by the transition period described above. Nonetheless, the
Commission, pursuant to Section 255 of the Communications Act and its implementing rules, has
established requirements and complaint procedures to ensure that telecommunications and
interconnected VoIP services and equipment are accessible to and usable by individuals with
disabilities.46 As a result, for this first Report, the Commission provides information about
complaints alleging violations of Section 255 filed under those existing procedures and an
assessment of industry compliance with those accessibility requirements. The Commission also
considers the extent to which initial industry efforts to comply with Section 716 have begun
having an impact on the accessibility of services and equipment subject to Section 716. In
addition, the Commission considers the extent to which initial efforts to maintain accessibility-
related records have begun having an impact on the accessibility of services and equipment
subject to Sections 255 and 716 and on the development and deployment of new communications
technologies. Finally, this Report addresses accessibility barriers that still exist with respect to
new communications technologies. This initial Report does not assess the accessibility of
Internet browsers built into mobile phones, required under Section 718 of the Communications




http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-11-151A1.pdf. The rules adopted in the ACS
Report and Order
are codified in 47 C.F.R. Part 14. The ACS FNPRM is discussed further in Section III.C,
below.
40 The rules became effective 30 days after their publication in the Federal Register on December 30, 2011.
ACS Report and Order and ACS FNPRM, 26 FCC Rcd at 14696, ¶ 328. See also 76 Fed. Reg. 82240 (Dec.
30, 2011).
41 See ACS Report and Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 14602, ¶ 108.
42 Specifically, covered entities must keep records of their efforts to implement Sections 255, 716, and 718,
including information about their efforts to consult with people with disabilities, descriptions of the
accessibility features of their products and services, and information about the compatibility of these
products and services with peripheral devices or specialized CPE commonly used by people with
disabilities to achieve access. 47 U.S.C. § 618(a)(5)(A). These recordkeeping requirements are effective
January 30, 2013, one year after the effective date of the regulations. Id.
43 ACS Report and Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 14602-3, ¶ 110.
44 CVAA, § 104(b).
45 47 C.F.R. §§ 14.30(c), 14.32-14.37.
46 47 U.S.C. § 255; 47 C.F.R. Part 6 and Part 7.
8

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

Act, however, because that provision will not take effect until October 8, 2013,47 and the
Commission has not yet issued final rules implementing that provision.
16.
Given the competing requirements to submit this first biennial Report to
Congress two years after the enactment of the CVAA on October 8, 2010, and the CVAA
requirement to seek comment on our tentative findings before submitting this Report,48 the time
period covered by this first Report is less than a full two years. With respect to the Commission’s
assessment of complaints received, required by Sections 717(b)(1)(C)-(F) of the Communications
Act, this Report covers the time period between October 8, 2010, and December 31, 2011.
Limiting the review to complaints received as of December 31 was necessary to compile the
relevant information and to seek comment on our tentative findings as required by the CVAA.49
Subsequent biennial reports, however, will cover a full two years each, with each report covering
a period beginning January 1 of the first year and ending December 31 of the second year,
providing sufficient time for compilation, assessment, and the receipt of comments prior to
submission to Congress on the October 8 anniversary of the CVAA enactment.50

B.

Compliance with Sections 255, 716, and 718

17.
Section 717(b)(1)(A) of the Communications Act requires the Commission to
provide an assessment of the level of compliance with Sections 255, 716, and 718 of the
Communications Act.51 In the CVAA Assessment PN, the Commission sought comment on the
level of compliance with pre-existing requirements, under the Commission’s accessibility rules
predating the CVAA, to make telecommunications and interconnected VoIP services and
equipment accessible to people with disabilities since the enactment of the CVAA on October 8,
2010.52 The Commission also sought comment on the extent to which initial industry efforts to
comply with the CVAA have begun to have an impact on the accessibility of non-interconnected
VoIP, electronic messaging, and interoperable video conferencing services and equipment.53 In
addition, the Commission asked for information about compliance by service providers and
equipment manufacturers with respect to ensuring access to information and documentation,
training of personnel having direct contact with the public, and the inclusion of people with
disabilities through all stages of product and service development.54 We discuss each of these
issues, in turn, below.


47 CVAA, § 104(b).
48 47 U.S.C. §§ 618(b)(1) and (2).
49 47 U.S.C. § 618(b)(2).
50 We believe it is most appropriate for these periodic reports to review complaints and other developments
for the time period 1/1/20XX - 12/31/20XX+1. We find that this approach will allow the Commission
adequate time to solicit public comment on the issues that it must address in such reports, consistent with
Section 717(b)(2) and best achieves the CVAA’s objectives.
51 47 U.S.C. § 618(b)(1)(A).
52 CVAA Assessment PN, 27 FCC Rcd at 7696-7697, ¶ 7.
53 Id., 27 FCC Rcd at 7698, ¶ 9.
54 Id., 27 FCC Rcd at 7697, ¶ 8.
9

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

18.

Section 255 Accessibility

. Comments on the state of compliance with Section
255 were received almost exclusively from consumer representatives.55 From the perspective of
the American Council of the Blind (ACB) and the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB),
devices covered under Section 255 are pervasively not accessible; a state that they claim has
remained constant since the passage of the CVAA.56 According to ACB, the current Section 255
complaint process is inadequate, and thus has discouraged consumers from filing complaints,
even though “[a]ccessibility of devices covered under Section 255 is abysmal.”57
19.
AFB asserts that, with respect to achieving accessibility under Section 255,
“Apple’s iPhone continues to be the only smart phone providing truly equal access at no extra
cost to users with vision loss” and that “accessible choices in the feature phone market are not
that much more extensive.”58 In discussing the implementation of Section 255 (which requires
accessible feature phones), ACB also appears to credit Panasonic for its efforts to produce
devices that meet the needs of people who are blind and visually impaired.59 However, ACB
goes on to note that those efforts have not been enough to provide this consumer market with
much choice.60
20.
The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) notes that mainstream “non-
mobile”61 analog and digital phones, especially phones at lower price points, often do not


55 Comments were received from both industry and consumer representatives with respect to the inclusion
of people with disabilities through all stages of product and service development; information,
documentation, and training; and service plans, which are discussed further in paragraphs 31 to 39, below.
56 See ACB Comments at 1; AFB Comments at 2 (“we would be incredulous if anyone were to conclude
that the status quo of pervasive inaccessibility has changed much . . . since the Fall of 2010”). As evidence,
AFB cites their comments previously filed in CVAA and other accessibility-related proceedings, and asks
that those comments be formally incorporated into this proceeding. See AFB Comments at 2. AFB’s view
is also supported by comments filed in 2010 by other groups representing individuals who are blind or
visually impaired. See, e.g., ACB Reply Comments, State of Accessibility for Mobile Phone Devices for
People Who Are Blind, Deaf Blind or Who Have Low Vision
, Docket 10-145 (Sept. 22, 2010), available at
http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7020913421 (because “only one model of cell phone provides
complete built-in accessibility . . . [and] only a select few models of smart phones are even compatible with
add-on text to speech software that is often more costly than the device itself,” blind or visually impaired
users are required to memorize phone numbers and specific key sequences to make calls, and have no
access to “features such as battery status, message indicators, caller identification, and sending or receiving
text messages”); National Federation of the Blind Reply Comments, State of Accessibility for Mobile Phone
Devices for People Who Are Blind, Deaf Blind or Who Have Low Vision
, Docket 10-145 (Oct. 14, 2010),
available at http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7020916852 (“There is only one wireless device in
the marketplace that is fully accessible to the blind user.”).
57 ACB Comments at 1. See also Section II.D of this Report for information about complaints filed with
the Commission since the enactment of the CVAA that allege violations of Section 255.
58 AFB Comments at 2.
59 See ACB Comments at 1.
60 Id.
61 In the CVAA Assessment PN, the Commission sought input on the state of accessibility of services and
equipment used with the following: (1) “non-mobile” services, including, but not limited to analog and
digital telephone handsets and cordless phones used with landline and interconnected VoIP services; and
(2) “mobile” or wireless services, including basic phones used primarily or exclusively for voice calls and
high-end wireless devices or smart phones that are used for voice, text, data and other computing
capabilities. CVAA Assessment PN, 27 FCC Rcd at 7696-7697, ¶ 7.
10

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

incorporate ports that accept neck loops.62 Further, HLAA asserts that some mainstream phones
have speakerphone or Bluetooth features with sound quality that is inadequate for people with a
significant hearing loss to understand what is being said.63
21.
On the positive side, HLAA reports seeing “a steady improvement in the
accessibility of both landline and mobile phones for people with hearing loss, and that is a credit
to both the manufacturers and service providers who make [hearing aid compatible] phones
available.”64 The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) further notes its development
of hearing aid compatible standards, specifically, TIA-1083, defining measurement procedures
and performance requirements for the handset-generated audio band magnetic noise of wireline
telephones,65 and ANSI/TIA 4965, a new standard using Conversational Gain, which provides
test methods for both analog and digital telephones and, according to TIA, “is expected to play a
significant role in efforts to reduce interference problems experienced by people using hearing
aids with digital cordless telephones.”66 Consumer Groups also report that the response time
provided by interactive voice response phone systems has lengthened, making such systems
easier for callers to use, even for deaf or hard of hearing callers who use relay services.67 They
also report that some deaf or hard of hearing people are able to access voice mail messages by
using Google Talk, an application that transcribes messages into text using speech recognition
technology.68 According to Consumer Groups, users report that this feature works fairly well for
calls where the speaker can be clearly heard with minimal background noise.69
22.

Section 716 Accessibility.

Comments on the state of compliance with Section
716 were received almost exclusively from industry representatives.70 The Consumer Electronics
Association (CEA) reports that manufacturers and providers are in the process of determining
which of their equipment and services are subject to the new accessibility requirements, ensuring
that their business units and product development teams understand the substantive accessibility


62 HLAA Comments at 2.
63 Id. HLAA and Consumer Groups note also that hearing aid compatibility ratings are not currently
required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for hearing aids, making the task of finding a hearing
aid compatible phone even more challenging for consumers. HLAA Comments at 4; Consumer Groups
Comments at 7-8. “Consumer Groups” consist of the following organizations: Telecommunications for
the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc.; National Association of the Deaf; Association of Late-Deafened
Adults, Inc.; Deaf and Hard of Hearing Consumer Advocacy Network; Cerebral Palsy and Deaf
Organization; and the Technology Access Program at Gallaudet University.
64 HLAA Comments at 4.
65 TIA Comments on Tentative Findings at 2-3. The full name for the TIA-1083 standard is the “Telephone
Terminal Equipment Handset Magnetic Measurement procedure and Performance Requirements.”
66 Id. at 3. “Conversational Gain” is a new method of measuring telephone speech amplification. TIA
Comments at 6. TIA further notes that a package label is being created to help hearing aid users identify
products with reduced interference potential. TIA Comments on Tentative Findings at 3.
67 Consumer Groups Comments at 8.
68 Id.
69 Id.
70 The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) urges the Commission “to avoid making any precipitous
analysis” of the impact of the Section 716 accessibility obligations, because any such analysis at this early
date would “need to rely almost exclusively on claims by covered industry players.” AFB Comments at 2.
11

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

requirements, and modifying their internal business processes and systems to perform the tasks
needed to comply with the new rules.71
23.
Comments of CTIA-The Wireless Association (CTIA) provide an extensive list
of actions that CTIA asserts are being taken by its members to address compliance with Section
716. In general, CTIA contends that the wireless industry currently actively considers
accessibility for persons with all types of disabilities, takes the necessary steps to ensure that such
disabilities are considered at the beginning of product and service design, and regularly integrates
accessibility considerations into their business operations.72 CTIA also reports that, since the
enactment of the CVAA, AT&T has incorporated “accessibility checklists” into its standard
project process and expanded efforts to collaborate with handset manufacturers and third-party
stakeholders on optimum accessibility specifications.73 In addition, according to CTIA, Verizon
Wireless is standardizing its processes to ensure that accessibility issues are considered
throughout the design, build, and refresh/updating periods.74
24.
Regarding specific accessibility developments, CTIA reports that wireless
manufacturers have designed equipment with built-in accessibility solutions, such as text-to-
speech and screen readers, hearing aid compatibility, haptic (tactile) feedback, text
communications, and voice activated features.75 In addition, CTIA adds:
Many wireless devices today include built-in features including visual and vibrating
alerts and notifications, speakerphones, text and IM applications, tactilely discernible
keypads (e.g. QWERTY) and shortcut keys, displays with adjustable brightness and font
sizes, predictive text and word completion (e.g. AutoText) and spell check, multiple
device form factors (e.g. touch, flip, candy bar, etc.), and, more recently, voice activated
features.76
25.
CTIA mentions that BlackBerry® and Nokia devices include many of these
features, and that the DROID™ by Motorola embeds accessibility features, such as a large backlit
touch screen and keypad with raised keys.77 CTIA also notes that Apple’s iPhone includes
accessibility features, such as screen magnification and VoiceOver screen reader technology,78
and “Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus using Google’s Android operating system has preinstalled
software that provides spoken, vibration and sound feedback to notify and alert users about
various actions, such as launching an application, upcoming events, and receiving incoming
calls.”79 CTIA also reports that, in 2012, RIM introduced BlackBerry® Screen Reader, which
provides audible output of the visual information displayed on the screen.80


71 CEA Comments at 5.
72 CTIA Comments at 16.
73 Id. at 17.
74 Id.
75 Id. at 4.
76 Id. at 8.
77 Id.
78 Id. at 9.
79 Id.
80 Id. at 8.
12

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

26.
CTIA explains further that wireless manufacturers, such as RIM, Inc.,
incorporate accessible features into their application requirements that encourage applications
developers to utilize built-in accessibility features.81 CTIA also notes that AT&T has been
developing a speech recognition application programming interface (API) that was recently
opened up to developers to permit such developers to integrate the API’s speech capabilities into
their applications.82
27.
Wireless manufacturers, according to CTIA, also design devices to be compatible
with assistive technology accessibility hardware and software solutions, such as alternate entry
devices, TTYs, adaptive keyboards, screen readers, magnifiers, text-to-speech, and speech-to-text
technology.83 Wireless service providers, CTIA adds, are making third-party applications
available to consumers to improve accessibility, particularly for individuals who are blind or
visually impaired.84 For example, AT&T offers Mobile Accessibility Lite for Android; Sprint,
Boost Mobile, and Virgin Mobile USA offer “Wireless Accessibility” for Android users; and
Verizon Wireless offers text-to-speech TALKS™ software for certain devices.85
28.
Notwithstanding all of these efforts, CTIA urges the Commission to develop
prospective guidelines so “wireless entities understand precisely what they must do for a product
or service to be considered ‘accessible.’”86
29.
Comments filed by the Consumer Groups are mixed with respect to their
opinions about the availability of accessible advanced communications products and services.
First, Consumer Groups express concerns about the lack of interoperable video conferencing
services and inaccessible advanced communications service components of video gaming.87
They also note with dismay that the iPhone 4S with Siri is not hearing aid compatible.
Nevertheless, Consumer Groups applaud some industry initiatives, such as offering text/data-only
plans for people who cannot make voice telephone calls, and web portals linked to services for
people with disabilities.88 Consumer Groups further recognize Apple, Inc., as “an example of a
leading manufacturer that embraces accessibility throughout many of its products by featuring
universal design principles.”89


81 Id.
82 Id. at 7.
83 Id. at 9.
84 Id. at 10.
85 Id. at 10-11. But see Letter from Tamara Preiss, Vice President, Federal Regulatory Affairs, Verizon, to
Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, CG Docket No. 10-213 (filed Sept. 6, 2012) (“To clarify, Verizon
Wireless previously marketed devices that provided TALKS, but transitioned to a text-to-speech software
called ‘Mobile Accessibility’ in mid-2012 for certain devices marketed after that time and available on a
greater number of Android devices.”).
86 Id. at 18. But see 47 C.F.R. §§ 6.3(a), 7.3(a), 14.21(b).
87 Consumer Groups Comments at 9-13. See also ¶ 44, infra.
88 Consumer Groups Comments at 6.
89 Id. The term “universal design” means “a concept or philosophy for designing and delivering products
and services that are usable by people with the widest possible range of functional capabilities, which
include products and services that are directly accessible (without requiring assistive technologies) and
13

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

30.

Inclusion of people with disabilities through all stages of product and service


development. 90 Various industry associations report that their members are taking steps to
consult with people with disabilities and the accessibility community.91 For example, CTIA
reports that AT&T has an Advisory Panel on Access and Aging.92 Also according to CTIA,
Verizon Wireless conducts quarterly calls with leading national disability advocates and has
shared handsets with the American Foundation for the Blind Labs to evaluate and offer
recommendations for their next generation of devices.93 Similarly, CTIA adds, Motorola has
“increased efforts to reach out regularly to disability advocacy groups, standards agencies and
research organizations, and to work closely with the manufacturers of devices for people with
accessibility needs.”94
31.
TIA states that its members “have also been (and plan to continue to) liaising
with the disability community to develop and share best practices and to develop standards for
inclusive design.”95 As an example, TIA notes that its members consulted with the disability
community in the development of voluntary industry Conversational Gain standards for wireline
phones.96 TIA states that it is actively involved in further development of the hearing aid
compatibility standard for wireless devices, and that the percentage of hearing aid compatible
phones across offering tiers and models has increased over time.97
32.
One consumer advocacy group, however, reports that it is “unaware of
mainstream mobile phone manufacturers or service providers who include people with hearing
loss in their market research, product design, testing, pilot demonstrations or product trials.”98
According to HLAA, while some mobile phone manufacturers are working with non-consumer
entities, such as hearing aid companies and research institutions, at least on a limited basis,
manufacturers have not sought much input from HLAA about features that would make mobile
phones accessible and usable for people with hearing loss since the ATIS hearing aid
compatibility incubator group disbanded around 2010.99




products and services that are interoperable with assistive technologies.” 29 U.S.C. § 3002(a)(19). See
also ACS Report and Order
and ACS FNPRM, 26 FCC Rcd at 14620, ¶ 151.
90 See 47 C.F.R. §§ 6.7(b)(3), 7.7(b)(3). Beginning January 30, 2013, covered entities must keep records of
information about their efforts to consult with people with disabilities. See 47 U.S.C. § 618(a)(5)(A); 47
C.F.R. § 14.31(a)(1).
91 See CEA Comments at 5; CTIA Comments at 4; TIA Comments at 4.
92 CTIA Comments at 17.
93 Id.
94 Id.
95 TIA Comments at 4-5.
96 Id. at 5. “Conversational Gain” is a new method of measuring telephone speech amplification. Id. at 6.
97 Id. at 5-6.
98 HLAA Comments at 3.
99 See HLAA Comments at 4. The ATIS hearing aid compatibility incubator group was formed by the
Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) to “investigate performance between hearing
aids (HAs) and Wireless Device (WDs) to determine methods of enhancing interoperability and usability
for consumers with hearing aids in order for those in the hearing aid and cellular wireless industries to meet
the requirements of the [Federal Communications Commission]” and completed its work in November
14

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

33.

Information, documentation, and training

.
100 CTIA reports that Verizon offers
free 411 assistance for individuals who are blind, or who have low vision, dexterity disabilities, or
cognitive disabilities, and provides these customers with bills and other print material in alternate
formats such as in Braille and large print.101 Likewise, CTIA states that U.S. Cellular provides
written material in Braille and large print for individuals who are visually impaired.102
34.
CTIA claims that wireless service providers and manufacturers train and educate
personnel about accessibility issues, citing AT&T’s customer service center for customers with
disabilities and RIM’s internal training module on accessibility.103 As a result, industry believes
that the disability community “is better informed about the diverse range of wireless services,
equipment and applications that are available to meet their needs.”104
35.
CTIA also claims that persons with disabilities are better informed because of
CTIA’s award-winning website AccessWireless.org and other collaborative efforts by the
wireless industry and the accessibility community.105 According to CTIA, the recently revamped
and re-launched AccessWireless.org site features direct links to service provider and
manufacturer accessibility websites; information relevant to individuals who are senior citizens,
deaf or hard of hearing, blind, and physically, cognitively or speech impaired; tools for service
providers’ retail store employees to help customers; and other features.106 In addition, “CTIA
also has partnered with the Mobile Manufacturers Forum (‘MMF’) to bring the Global
Accessibility Reporting Initiative (‘GARI’) to AccessWireless.org,” to provide an online database
that consumers can use to search for wireless handsets based on built-in accessibility features.107
36.
Notwithstanding these efforts by industry, some consumers complain about the
training of customer service personnel. HLAA reports that “personnel often do not know what a
[hearing aid compatible] phone is or how to find which phones are [hearing aid compatible]
among those the service provider sells.”108 As a result, consumers shopping for hearing aid




2010. ATIS: Hearing Aid Compatibility Incubator at http://www.atis.org/hac/index.asp (viewed August
10, 2012).
100 See 47 C.F.R. §§ 6.11, 7.11, 14.20(d).
101 CTIA Comments at 7.
102 Id.
103 Id. at 14-15.
104 Id. at 15.
105 Id. at 4. AccessWireless.org was a recipient of an FCC Chairman’s Award for Advancement in
Accessibility in 2011. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski Joins Commissioner Michael Copps to Honor
Innovators in Accessibility Communications Technologies
, October 28, 2011, available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-310717A1.pdf.
106 CTIA Comments at 4.
107 Id. at 13. TIA, many of whose members are also members of the MMF, notes that the FCC incorporated
GARI on its Accessibility Clearinghouse website. TIA Comments at 7.
108 HLAA Comments at 3.
15

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

compatible mobile phones in retail stores may not find what they need unless the store staff is in
fact well trained and knowledgeable.109
37.

Service plans.

CTIA states that wireless service providers such as CTIA
members Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, and U.S. Cellular are offering voice, text,
and data service plans specifically for persons with disabilities, including unlimited text or data
plans or message- or data-only plans for people who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech
disability.110
38.
Consumer Groups, however, are concerned about the growing trend towards
metering and capping data plans, particularly because of the impact on deaf and hard of hearing
individuals who rely on video technology for direct communication and for telecommunications
through a relay service.111 Consumer Groups report that some of their members are exceeding
wireless monthly 2 GB and 3 GB data caps and that many are paying overage fees, which
advocates predict will become a larger problem as wireless network speeds improve and video
availability and use increases.112 Consumer Groups contend that these increasing costs add to the
higher costs that people who are deaf or hard of hearing already pay for equipment and services
to achieve functionally equivalent telecommunications.113 Consumer Groups and the major
wireless providers are engaged in discussions about possible solutions to ensure that the deaf and
hard of hearing community does not experience a significant disparity in costs.114
39.

Findings on compliance with Sections 255, 716, and 718

.115 With respect to
Section 255, based on the limited record provided in response to the CVAA Assessment PN, the
Commission finds that services and equipment subject to this longstanding statutory obligation
generally are meeting the hearing aid compatibility needs of people with hearing loss, and that
feature phones continue to offer only limited accessibility for consumers who are blind or visually
impaired. The record indicates that consumers who are blind or visually impaired have
consistently and persistently expressed frustration with the overall inaccessibility of
telecommunications equipment that has grown increasingly complex over time.116 Although the
Commission has successfully resolved some informal Section 255 complaints,117 we agree with


109 See id. But see Letter from Tamara Preiss, Vice President, Federal Regulatory Affairs, Verizon, to
Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, CG Docket No. 10-213 (filed Sept. 6, 2012) (noting that HAC ratings
are included on the call-out-cards located adjacent to handsets in Verizon stores; HAC information and
HAC ratings are available on Verizon Wireless’ website; customer service representatives cannot advise
consumers whether a particular handset will meet a particular consumer’s needs; and handsets are available
for in-store testing with a consumer’s hearing aid).
110 CTIA Comments at 6.
111 Consumer Groups Comments at 13.
112 Id. at 14.
113 Id.
114 Id.
115 As noted above, see ¶ 5, supra, in the CVAA Tentative Findings PN, the Commission sought comment
on these findings pursuant to Section 717(b)(2) of the Communications Act. 47 U.S.C. § 618(b)(2); CVAA
Tentative Findings PN
, 27 FCC Rcd ___. See also Section II.F of this Report, infra (summarizing the
comments received and affirming these findings).
116 See, e.g., ¶ 18 of this Report, supra.
117 See Section II.D of this Report, infra.
16

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

ACB that the resolution of Section 255 complaints during this reporting period does not
necessarily “provide the entire picture” with respect to compliance.118 The complaint data
indicate that the Section 255 complaint process has resolved relatively simple complaints;119 thus
we find that the resolution of these types of complaints is only one factor in assessing the level of
compliance with Section 255.
40.
The Commission is currently without sufficient information to accurately assess
the level of compliance with Section 716 of the Communications Act. The Commission expects
to be better informed after October 8, 2013, when Section 716 and the recordkeeping and
enforcement provisions of Section 717 are fully effective.120 However, the Commission finds that
industry is taking multiple steps to comply with the communications accessibility provisions of
the CVAA, and we expect that such steps will result in the availability of accessible equipment
used for advanced communications services with a diverse range of low-end and high-end
features, functions, and prices when Section 716 is fully effective.
41.
Because Section 718 is not yet effective, the Commission is unable to present
findings with respect to the level of compliance with that provision.

C.

Accessibility Barriers in New Communications Technologies

42.
Section 717(b)(1)(B) of the Communications Act requires the Commission to
provide an evaluation of the extent to which any accessibility barriers still exist with respect to
new communications technologies.121 In the CVAA Assessment PN, the Commission noted that
the CVAA does not define “new communications technologies” in this context, and sought
comment on whether the scope of this inquiry may be broader than “telecommunications” and
“advanced communications services” technologies covered under Section 255 and Section 716.122
The Commission also sought comment on the extent to which new communications services or
equipment have been deployed for the general public, the accessibility barriers that still exist with
respect to these new communications technologies, and whether these barriers will be addressed
by accessibility obligations under Section 716 or the mobile phone Internet browser accessibility
obligations under Section 718 that will become effective on October 8, 2013.123
43.
Contrary to the assertions of some commenters, we believe that our assessment
of accessibility barriers with respect to “new communications technologies” should not be limited
to those technologies covered under Sections 255, 716, and 718.124 We also disagree with TIA
that any assessment of accessibility barriers that still exist “must be evaluated by what is


118 ACB Comments at 1.
119 For example, under the Section 255 complaint process, the Commission has resolved complaints
addressing accessible directory assistance, accessible customer service, modified service plans and the
provision of information in alternative formats. However, few complaints have successfully achieved the
incorporation of accessible design in services and products. See Section II.D.1 of this Report, infra.
120 Accord TIA Comments at 2 and 8.
121 47 U.S.C. § 618(b)(1)(B).
122 CVAA Assessment PN, 27 FCC Rcd 7698-99, ¶ 12. The CVAA legislative history is also silent on the
definition or scope of “new communications technologies.”
123 Id.
124 Contra, CEA Comments at 8.
17

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

achievable with current technology.”125 These limitations do not appear in the CVAA or its
legislative history with respect to this Report to Congress. Given that Congress has acted in the
past, in 1996 and more recently with the CVAA, to ensure access to communications equipment
and services by people with disabilities, and may do so again to the extent “the extraordinary
benefits of [ ] technological advances are [ ] not accessible to individuals with disabilities,”126 we
believe that adopting a narrow interpretation of the phrase “new communications technologies” in
Section 717(b)(1)(B) would defeat congressional intent to ensure such access to emerging
communications technologies.
44.
Regarding accessibility barriers in new communications technologies, CTIA
reports that its member companies offer more than 600 unique wireless devices, while consumer
advocates identify only a few devices as being accessible “out-of-the-box” to individuals who are
blind or visually impaired.127 Consumer Groups acknowledge that new communications
technologies can result in eliminating accessibility barriers.128 For example, for individuals who
are deaf or hard of hearing, the development of e-mail, text messaging, video conferencing,
captioned telephones, and the mobile technologies to support these services has helped to level
the communications playing field.129 Nonetheless, Consumer Groups also point out that new
communications technologies can create accessibility barriers.130 For example, Consumer
Groups state that such new technologies as video conferencing services and advanced
communications service components of video gaming are not accessible.131 Consumer Groups
also note the lack of vibrating alert systems across all applications that provide audible
notifications of incoming messages or other communication, the inability to adjust vibration
settings similar to the ability to select ringtones, and the need to make equipment used for
advanced communications services compatible with residential signaling systems.132


125 TIA Comments at 9.
126 Senate Report at 1; House Report at 19.
127 See CTIA Comments at 3; ¶ 19 of this Report, supra (identifying Apple and Panasonic as manufacturers
of accessible mobile phones).
128 Consumer Groups Comments at 2.
129 Id.
130 Id. at 9-11.
131 Id. at 9-11 (most mainstream video conferencing services are not interoperable with each other or with
videophones provided by video relay service providers, and none are able to include telecommunications
relay services as part of these services); id. at 12-13 (advocating for inclusion of relay services to make
online gaming voice communication accessible to deaf and hard of hearing gamers). Each of these
accessibility issues is the subject of pending Commission proceedings. ACS FNPRM, 26 FCC Rcd at
14684-87, ¶¶ 301-305; Request for Comment: Petition for Class Waiver of Commission’s Rules for Access
to Advanced Communications Services and Equipment by People with Disabilities
; CG Docket No. 10-213,
Public Notice, DA 12-760, 27 FCC Rcd 5204, released May 15, 2012 (Entertainment Services Association
petition for waiver of gaming equipment and services from the advanced communications services
accessibility requirements), available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-12-
760A1.pdf.
132 Consumer Groups Comments at 13.
18

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

45.

Findings on accessibility barriers in new communications technologies

.133 The
Commission believes that Congress will be better informed about the state of communications
that are or are not accessible to individuals with disabilities, the impact of the CVAA, and the
need for additional legislative action, if any, if the Commission’s Report includes an account of
accessibility barriers with respect to “new communications technologies” that fall within and
outside the scope of the Communications Act and that can and cannot be eliminated with
reasonable effort or expense.
46.
Based on comments filed in response to the CVAA Assessment PN, we find that
accessibility barriers still exist with respect to both existing and new communications
technologies.134 In particular, we find that presently, new video conferencing technologies that
are available for peer-to-peer and video relay services are not meeting the full communication
access needs of people who communicate via American Sign Language.135 Further, the
Commission agrees with Consumer Groups that deployment of new communications
technologies can either eliminate existing accessibility barriers or create new ones. The
Commission finds that many accessibility barriers in new communications technologies will
likely be addressed by industry compliance with the new accessibility requirements under Section
716 and Section 718 when those requirements are fully effective, and by the enforcement
procedures mandated by Section 717 and the Commission’s rules. There may, however, still be
many accessibility barriers to new communications technologies that fall outside the scope of the
CVAA, including, for example, video conferencing services that are not interoperable.

D.

Complaints Received Pursuant to Section 717

47.
Sections 717(b)(1)(C)-(F) of the Communications Act require the Commission
to report on the following issues with respect to complaints received pursuant to Section 717(a) of
the Communications Act that allege violations of Sections 255, 716, or 718 of the
Communications Act:
·
the number and nature of complaints received during the two years that are the
subject of the Commission’s Report;
·
the actions taken to resolve such complaints, including forfeiture penalties assessed;
·
the length of time that was taken by the Commission to resolve each such complaint;
and
·
the number, status, nature, and outcome of any actions for mandamus and any
appeals filed.136
Before addressing each of these matters, this section of the Report provides a brief explanation of
the existing procedures for the handling of accessibility complaints and how those procedures
will be changed to implement the CVAA.


133 As noted above, see ¶ 5, supra, in the CVAA Tentative Findings PN, the Commission sought comment
on these findings pursuant to Section 717(b)(2) of the Communications Act. 47 U.S.C. § 618(b)(2); CVAA
Tentative Findings PN
, 27 FCC Rcd ___. See also Section II.F of this Report, infra (summarizing the
comments received and affirming these findings).
134 See, e.g., ¶¶ 18, 20, and 29, supra (providing examples of accessibility barriers).
135 See Consumer Groups Comments at 9-11.
136 47 U.S.C. §§ 618(b)(1)(C)-(F).
19

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

48.

Existing accessibility complaint procedures

. During the period covered by this
Report,137 consumers filing accessibility complaints utilized the Commission’s existing informal
complaint procedures, which were adopted under Section 255 of the Communications Act.138
Currently, an informal accessibility complaint may be communicated to the Consumer and
Governmental Affairs Bureau’s (CGB) Disability Rights Office (DRO) by letter, phone call, fax,
online form, or other reasonable means.139 The complaint is entered into the Consumer
Complaint Management System (CCMS) and is then assigned to a DRO telecommunications
specialist, who forwards the complaint to and serves a Notice of Informal Complaint (NOIC) on
the service provider and/or equipment manufacturer.140 The provider or manufacturer has 30
days in which to respond to the NOIC.141 DRO then analyzes the response. If all issues are
satisfied and the consumer’s satisfaction with the resolution is verified, or if DRO determines that
no further action is required or that DRO can take no further action, DRO considers the matter
closed and sends the consumer a close-out letter.142 Under the existing complaint procedure,
DRO is not authorized to impose forfeitures or take other enforcement action in response to an
informal complaint alone; however, if the consumer is not satisfied with the provider’s or
manufacturer’s response to the complaint and the DRO decision to terminate action, the consumer
may file a formal complaint.143 In some cases, DRO may forward the complaint to the
Enforcement Bureau to determine whether a material and substantial question remains with
respect to compliance.144 If so, the Enforcement Bureau may investigate further to determine
compliance and what, if any, remedial actions and/or sanctions are warranted.145
49.

Future accessibility complaint procedures.

On October 8, 2013, the complaint
process will change upon full implementation of the enforcement provisions of Section 717(a).146
Before filing a complaint, a consumer must make a request to DRO for dispute resolution
assistance with the applicable service provider or equipment manufacturer.147 If the two parties
do not reach a settlement within 30 days after the filing of a request for dispute resolution
assistance, the parties may agree to extend the time for dispute resolution in 30-day increments,


137 With respect to the Commission’s assessment of complaints received, required by Sections
717(b)(1)(C)-(F) of the Communications Act, this first Report covers the time period between
October 8, 2010, and December 31, 2011. Subsequent biennial reports will cover complaints for
periods beginning January 1 and ending two years later on December 31.
138 See 47 C.F.R. §§ 6.16-6.20, 7.16-7.20. No formal complaints regarding accessibility were filed during
the period covered by this Report. See 47 C.F.R. §§ 6.21-6.22, 7.21-7.22 (formal complaint procedures).
139 47 C.F.R. §§ 6.17(a), 7.17(a).
140 See 47 C.F.R. §§ 6.18(a), 7.18(a).
141 47 C.F.R. §§ 6.19, 7.19.
142 See 47 C.F.R. §§ 6.18(a)-(b), 7.18(a)-(b).
143 See 47 C.F.R. §§ 6.20(b), 7.20(b).
144 See 47 C.F.R. §§ 6.20(c), 7.20(c).
145 See 47 C.F.R. §§ 6.20(c)-(d), 7.20(c)-(d).
146 See 47 C.F.R. §§ 14.32 (consumer dispute assistance), 14.34-14.37 (informal complaints), 14.38-14.52
(formal complaints).
147 Prior to October 8, 2013, consumers may file informal complaints with DRO alleging violation of
Section 255 of the Communications Act without the prerequisite filing of a request for dispute resolution
assistance.
20

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

or the requester may file an informal complaint with the Enforcement Bureau.148 Informal
complaints alleging a violation of Section 255, 716, or 718 of the Communications Act must be
filed with the Commission’s Enforcement Bureau, instead of with DRO.149
50.
The Commission has established minimum requirements for information that
must be contained in an informal complaint, effective October 8, 2013.150 The Commission will
investigate the complaint and, within 180 days after the complaint was filed, will issue an order
determining whether a violation has occurred.151 The Commission may, in such order, or in a
subsequent order, direct the service provider or equipment manufacturer to bring the service or, in
the case of a manufacturer, the next generation of the equipment, into compliance with the
requirements of Section 255, 716, or 718 within a reasonable period of time and take other
authorized and appropriate enforcement action.152 Any manufacturer or service provider that is
the subject of such an order shall have a reasonable opportunity to comment on the Commission’s
proposed remedial action before the Commission issues a final order with respect to that action.153
1. Number and Nature of Complaints Received
51.
From October 8, 2010, to December 31, 2011, the time period covered by this
Report, 73 informal complaints were filed with the Commission alleging violations of Section
255 of the Communications Act or its implementing rules.154 Of those complaints, approximately
33% alleged violations by equipment manufacturers and 53% alleged violations by service
providers, with the remaining 14% alleging both service and equipment violations.
52.
Equipment-related complaints raised a wide range of issues, illustrating
difficulties encountered by consumers with various types of disabilities in obtaining accessible
equipment. For example, in one informal complaint filed with the Commission, a consumer who
is deaf needed a hearing aid compatible cell phone with a full keyboard, but the cell phone he had
previously used was discontinued by his service provider. Another individual complained that
she could not find a cell phone with the type of Bluetooth signal needed to communicate with


148 47 C.F.R. § 14.32(e). See also ACS Report and Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 14658, ¶ 237. We
expect that the new dispute resolution process will resolve consumer concerns before complaints
are filed and will encourage service providers and equipment manufacturers to comply with the
accessibility rules.
149 47 C.F.R. § 14.34(a). On or after October 8, 2013, consumers may still file formal complaints with the
Enforcement Bureau without first making requests for dispute resolution assistance. 47 C.F.R. §§ 14.38-
14.52.
150 47 C.F.R. § 14.34(b).
151 47 U.S.C. § 618(a)(3)(B). The Commission shall forward the informal complaint to the service provider
or equipment manufacturer. 47 C.F.R. § 14.35(a). The service provider or manufacturer must file and
serve an answer to the complaint and a non-confidential summary of that answer within 20 days of service
of the complaint. 47 C.F.R. §§ 14.36(b)(i), 14.36(c). The complainant may file a reply. 47 C.F.R. §
14.36(d).
152 47 U.S.C. § 618(a)(3)(B)(i).
153 47 U.S.C. § 618(a)(4). See also 47 C.F.R. § 14.37(c).
154 Information in this first Report is limited to complaints filed under existing procedures for alleged
violations of Section 255 because the complaint procedures established pursuant to Section 717(a) of the
Communications Act will not be available to consumers until October 8, 2013. See ¶¶ 14-16 of this Report,
supra.
21

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

specialized CPE. Consumers who are blind or visually impaired filed several complaints about
the difficulty of locating cell phones with fully accessible features, such as an accessible contact
list. Complaints related to obtaining equipment that meets the needs of consumers with multiple
disabilities were also filed. Several complainants sought hearing aid compatible phones with
buttons that were easy to control for individuals with dexterity disabilities due to carpal tunnel
syndrome or multiple sclerosis.
53.
In complaints against service providers, the predominant issues were as follows:
·
need for instructions or billing in an accessible format;
·
need for accessible customer service;
·
need for alternatives to an inaccessible telephone directory (e.g., free directory
assistance);
·
requests for waiver of early termination fees when a phone that did not meet
accessibility requirements was exchanged for another phone that was accessible; and
·
requests to modify a bundled service plan to eliminate charges for service(s) not used
due to disability (e.g., phone plans with text only).
2. Actions Taken to Resolve Such Complaints
54.
For each complaint filed with the Commission during the period covered by this
Report, DRO forwarded the complaint to and served an NOIC on the service provider and/or
equipment manufacturer alleged to have violated Commission rules. In most cases, equipment
manufacturers and service providers attempted to work with consumers to resolve their particular
needs. Equipment manufacturers often addressed complaints by providing the requested
equipment, identifying equipment that was available as an upgrade, or informing consumers of
new models that would be issued in the future. Service providers also accommodated consumers
who needed accessible formats for billing, equipment instructions, and directory assistance. As a
result, for a majority of complaints DRO was able to confirm that the consumer was satisfied with
the resolution.
55.
For all but eight of the complaints filed, DRO verified the consumer’s
satisfaction with the resolution or determined that no further action was required or that DRO
could take no further action, and sent the consumer a close-out letter. For two of the remaining
eight complaints, DRO determined that the complaints involved issues outside the Commission’s
jurisdiction, referred the complainants to the U.S. Department of Justice, advising consumers of
their right to file a complaint alleging violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act or other
disability-related law. DRO is making best efforts to facilitate resolution of the remaining six
complaints that are still pending, which involve general dissatisfaction with services or equipment
or complex issues of accessibility that include determining the extent to which the accessibility
requested is readily achievable.
56.
The Commission did not assess any forfeiture penalties for accessibility-related
violations during the period covered by this Report.
3. Time to Resolve Each Complaint
57.
Under existing procedures, there is no prescribed time frame for resolving
informal complaints alleging violations of Section 255. Of the 67 informal complaints that have
been closed by DRO, two complaints, or about 3%, were resolved within the first 30 days after
22

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

receipt. Another 41 complaints, or about 61%, were closed within 90 days. Another 22
complaints, or approximately 33%, were closed within 180 days. Two complaints, or about 3%,
were closed within a year.
4.

Actions for Mandamus and Appeals Filed

58.
There were no actions for mandamus or appeals filed with respect to Section 255
complaints during the period covered by this Report.

E.

Effect of Section 717’s Recordkeeping and Enforcement Requirements on
the Development and Deployment of New Communications Technologies

59.
Section 717(b)(1)(G) of the Communications Act requires the Commission to
provide an assessment of the effect of the requirements of Section 717 of the Communications
Act on the development and deployment of new communications technologies.155 Section 717(a)
requires the Commission to establish new recordkeeping and enforcement procedures for service
providers and equipment manufacturers that are subject to Sections 255, 716, and 718.156 In
October 2011, the Commission adopted these procedures,157 which require service providers and
equipment manufacturers to maintain records to demonstrate compliance with Sections 255, 716,
and 718 when a complaint is filed.158 In the CVAA Assessment PN, the Commission sought
comment on whether service providers and equipment manufacturers have taken measures in
anticipation of the new recordkeeping and enforcement requirements that will result in increased
accessibility for people with disabilities.159
60.
Comments in response to this inquiry in the CVAA Assessment PN were sparse.
CTIA states that it appreciates and agrees with the Commission’s establishment of its consumer
dispute assistance process as a prerequisite to the filing of an informal complaint.160 CTIA
reports that the wireless industry is “actively preparing and initiating measures to meet the
enforcement and recordkeeping requirements of the CVAA.”161 In addition, TIA states that its
members “have been complying with the recordkeeping requirements.”162 CEA reports that


155 47 U.S.C. § 618(b)(1)(G).
156 47 U.S.C. § 618(a).
157 See ¶¶ 49 and 50 of this Report, supra, for a description of the new enforcement procedures. Entities
must certify annually to the Commission that they have kept records pertaining to the accessibility of their
products beginning January 30, 2013. See 47 U.S.C. § 618(a)(5)(B); 47 C.F.R. § 14.31. In response to an
informal complaint, the manufacturer or service provider “must produce documents demonstrating its due
diligence in exploring accessibility and achievability . . . throughout the design, development, testing, and
deployment stages of a product or service.” 47 C.F.R. § 14.36(a).
158 47 C.F.R. § 14.36(a).
159 CVAA Assessment PN, 27 FCC Rcd at 7698, ¶ 11. Among other things, the Commission also asked to
what extent the recordkeeping requirements and enforcement procedures established have increased
collaboration among industry, consumers with disabilities, and other stakeholders. Id.
160 CTIA Comments at 18.
161 Id.
162 TIA Comments at 8.
23

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

manufacturers and service providers are modifying internal recordkeeping systems to
accommodate the records that the new rules require to be kept.163
61.
At the same time, CTIA suggests that developing an effective recordkeeping
process may require some experience with the rules and their enforcement: “CTIA appreciates
the FCC’s decision to adopt a flexible approach to recordkeeping . . . [but] the lack of any
guidance against which regulated entities can judge their individual recordkeeping systems places
those entities at risk of being found in violation of the requirements, despite their best efforts to
comply.” 164 As a result, CTIA urges the Commission not to penalize entities that are attempting
in good faith to comply with the rules if their records are ultimately found to be insufficient or
non-compliant.165 In other words, CTIA urges the Commission to maintain “a flexible approach
to recordkeeping requirements.”166 TIA also urges the Commission to take a flexible approach in
its first enforcement action to ensure that “anticipatory documentation requirements do not
burden or derail the product design process.”167
62.
Consumer Groups perceive “ongoing resistance by some members of the industry
to incorporate and implement accessibility features” as an underlying cause of many
communications accessibility barriers.168 They claim that industry appears to collaborate in good
faith with consumers as members of organized accessibility committees, but express frustration
that this spirit of collaboration dissolves outside of those settings.169 They suggest that industry
requests for waiver of the accessibility rules “can lead consumer groups to question the sincerity
of industry stakeholders.”170 In contrast, CEA asserts that the granting of waiver requests would
avoid the anticipated negative effect of the accessibility rules, including the recordkeeping and
enforcement requirements of Section 717.171


163 CEA Comments at 5.
164 CTIA Comments at 19. See also TIA Comments at 9 (“an established level of recordkeeping cannot
easily be determined” until the Commission undertakes enforcement actions). TIA also cites this
“regulatory uncertainty” as a “major barrier to accessibility” while, at the same time, it urges the
Commission to afford manufacturers “maximum flexibility” in meeting the CVAA requirements. Id.
165 CTIA Comments at 19-20.
166 Id.
167 TIA Comments at 8-9.
168 Consumer Groups Comments at 2.
169 Id. at 3.
170 Id. Industry requests for waiver of the accessibility rules are the subject of pending Commission
proceedings. See, e.g., Request for Comment: Petition for Class Waiver of Commission’s Rules for Access
to Advanced Communications Services and Equipment by People with Disabilities
; CG Docket No. 10-213,
Public Notice, DA 12-759, 27 FCC Rcd 5202, released May 15, 2012 (Consumer Electronics Association
petition for waiver of Internet protocol televisions and digital video players from the advanced
communications services accessibility requirements), available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-12-759A1.pdf. Further, the Consumer Groups
“urge the Commission to send the message to Congress that some in the industry are refusing to embrace
accessibility as a priority and to adopt universal design principles, despite the clear mandates from
Congress in the CVAA.” Consumer Groups Comments at 5.
171 CEA Comments at 7-8. See also Letter from Julie M. Kearny, Vice President, Regulatory Affairs,
Consumer Electronics Association to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, CG Docket No. 10-213, at 2
(filed Aug. 2, 2012), refuting Consumer Groups’ assertion that waiver petitions illustrate industry
reluctance to adopt universal design principles.
24

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

63.

Findings on the effect of Section 717’s recordkeeping and enforcement


requirements on the development and deployment of new communications technologies.172
Industry commenters express concerns about the anticipated burden of maintaining the records
required by Section 717 to demonstrate compliance with Sections 255, 716, and 718. Yet,
industry commenters also report that they are already complying or preparing to comply with the
new recordkeeping requirements. We find that nothing in the record indicates that Section 717’s
recordkeeping and enforcement requirements will hinder the development and deployment of
new communications technologies. We also find, however, that there is insufficient information
to assess whether initial steps taken in anticipation of the new recordkeeping and enforcement
requirements will result in the development and deployment of new communications technologies
that are accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.

F.

Conclusion

64.
On August 23, 2012, the Commission released a public notice seeking comment
on its tentative findings pursuant to Section 717(b)(2) of the Communications Act (the CVAA
Tentative Findings PN
).173 Specifically, we sought comment on whether our findings accurately
represent the current state of communications technologies accessibility and, if not, how they
should be revised to do so.174 We also asked whether and the extent to which the industry actions
described above have resulted in increased accessibility of telecommunications and advanced
communications services and equipment.175 Further, we sought comment on whether such
accessible services and equipment are offered with the diverse range of low-end and high-end
features, functions, and prices as is offered to the general public.176 Finally, we asked about other
kinds of information that would help the Commission to conduct these assessments for the next
biennial report to Congress, to be submitted by October 8, 2014.177
65.
In response to the CVAA Tentative Findings PN, the Commission received few
comments, which are summarized below. Although relatively few, we believe that the comments
received in response to the CVAA Assessment PN and the CVAA Tentative Findings PN support
our tentative findings and, therefore, we affirm these tentative findings which are presented as
findings in this Report.178
66.
Compliance with Sections 255, 716, and 718. In response to the CVAA Tentative
Findings PN, Consumer Groups representing individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing state


172 As noted above, see ¶ 5, supra, in the CVAA Tentative Findings PN, the Commission sought comment
on these findings pursuant to Section 717(b)(2) of the Communications Act. 47 U.S.C. § 618(b)(2); CVAA
Tentative Findings PN,
27 FCC Rcd ___. See also Section II.F of this Report, infra (summarizing the
comments received and affirming these findings).
173 47 U.S.C. § 618(b)(2). CVAA Tentative Findings PN, 27 FCC Rcd ___.
174 CVAA Tentative Findings PN, 27 FCC Rcd at ___, ¶ 14.
175 Id.
176 Id.
177 Id.
178 See ¶¶ 39-41 (findings on compliance with Sections 255, 716, and 718), ¶¶ 45-46 (findings on
accessibility barriers in new communications technologies), and ¶ 63 (findings on the effect of Section
717’s recordkeeping and enforcement requirements on the development and deployment of new
communications technologies).
25

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

that they appreciate that many of their accessibility concerns are noted in this Report, but “urge
the Commission to incorporate their concerns into specific findings of fact.”179 The Consumer
Groups’ accessibility concerns are noted in this section and generally throughout this Report.180
67.
The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) concurs with the Commission that
consumers who are blind or visually impaired have consistently and persistently expressed
frustration with the overall inaccessibility of telecommunications equipment that has grown
increasingly complex over time,181 and concurs with ACB that the “accessibility of devices
covered under Section 255 is abysmal.”182 NFB questions the progress that industry has made to
achieve accessibility in the marketplace, observing that such progress is so minimal that industry
has not fundamentally changed the way it views accessibility.183 Specifically, NFB notes that
some accessibility solutions have been around for awhile (e.g., vibrating alerts and
speakerphones) and other solutions do not achieve full accessibility (e.g., the Samsung Galaxy
Nexus and BlackBerry® Screen Reader).184 At the same time, NFB notes that several generations
of the Apple iPhone have been accessible “out of the box” to people who are blind and deaf-
blind, and that “Google is working on incorporating accessibility features into Jelly Bean, the
newest Android operating system.”185 NFB urges manufacturers to view accessibility as “a
competitive advantage rather than a mandated burden,”186 and requests service providers, such as
AT&T and Verizon Wireless, to “be more aggressive” and refuse to accept handsets that are
inaccessible.187 Finally, NFB urges industry to collaborate with consumer groups to develop and


179 Consumer Groups Comments on Tentative Findings at 1. For example, Consumer Groups desire that
the Commission include findings about the lack of video conferencing service interoperability, including
with video relay services (id. at 6); about the lack of accessible voice communication in online multiplayer
games (id. at 5-6); that greater involvement by the deaf and hard of hearing community would benefit
industry accessibility compliance efforts (id. at 7); that data caps and metered data plans should not result
in higher costs to consumers who are deaf or hard of hearing and rely on such services (id. at 8); and that
new forms of relay services are needed to meet the needs of people who are deaf and have other disabilities
(id. at 9). Consumer Groups also generally note their desire for hearing aid compatibility for 100% of
wireless handsets (id. at 3); improved labeling for hearing aids (id. at 3-4); the availability of video mail
services, similar to voice mail services (id. at 4-5); and a Commission investigation to determine what steps
industry has taken to ensure compliance with Sections 716 and 718 (id. at 6). See Appendix A for a list of
entities responding as “Consumer Groups” to the CVAA Tentative Findings PN. The need for new forms of
relay services to meet the needs of people who are deaf-blind is echoed by the DeafBlind Think Tank
(DBTT), who also express the need for updated and new specialized customer premises equipment. DBTT
Comments on Tentative Findings at 1-2. NFB also shares Consumer Groups’ concerns about the effect that
the trend towards metering and capping data plans will have on consumers who are deaf-blind who rely on
text-based services. NFB Comments on Tentative Findings at 4.
180 See note 179, supra. See also, e.g., ¶¶ 29, 38, 44, 62, supra.
181 NFB Comments on Tentative Findings at 4. See also ¶ 39, supra. With regard to the provision of
accessible information and documentation, NFB characterizes the provision of free 411 assistance,
customer service centers for people with disabilities, and the AccessWireless.org website as “perpetuat[ing]
a separate but equal” system. NFB Comments on Tentative Findings at 4.
182 NFB Comments on Tentative Findings at 1. See also ¶ 18, supra.
183 NFB Comments on Tentative Findings at 3.
184 NFB Comments on Tentative Findings at 2. See also ¶¶ 24 and 25, supra.
185 NFB Comments on Tentative Findings at 1-2.
186 Id. at 2.
187 Id. at 2-3.
26

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

implement functional performance and usability standards to ensure actual and not simply
technical accessibility.188
68.
In response to the Commission’s tentative conclusion that equipment subject to
Section 255 is generally meeting the hearing aid compatibility needs of people with hearing loss,
but that feature phones continue to offer only limited accessibility for consumers who are blind or
visually impaired,189 TIA states that it believes the “industry has taken great strides in increasing
the accessibility of ‘feature phones’ generally,”190 but provides no further information about how
feature phones are meeting the accessibility needs of consumers who are blind or visually
impaired. TIA further disagrees with ACB’s position that the current Section 255 complaint
process is inadequate and discourages consumers from filing complaints, as well as the
Commission’s tentative conclusion that the resolution of Section 255 complaints during the
reporting period does not necessarily provide the entire picture with respect to compliance.191
Instead, TIA believes that the number of complaints is “evidence that industry has listened to and
addressed many of the complaints and concerns of consumers under Section 255.”192
69.
We believe that the comments of the Consumer Groups and NFB support our
tentative findings with respect to compliance with Sections 255, 716, and 718, and we are not
persuaded by the comments of TIA to amend those findings. We, therefore, affirm our findings
on compliance with Sections 255, 716, and 718.193
70.
Accessibility barriers in new communications technologies. Comments in
response to the Commission’s tentative conclusions on accessibility barriers in new
communications technologies are limited to those submitted by the Consumer Groups and TIA.
Consumer Groups concur with the Commission’s broad interpretation of “new communications
technologies.”194 In response to the Commission’s tentative finding that new video conferencing
technologies available for peer-to-peer and video relay services are not meeting the full
communication access needs of people who communicate via American Sign Language,195 TIA
asserts that the CVAA accessibility requirements cover only “interoperable” video conferencing
service. TIA goes on to note its belief that “substantial progress has been made toward achieving


188 Id. at 3. NFB reports that they have only begun communicating with some service providers this year,
but only on a limited basis. Id. at 3-4.
189 See ¶ 39, supra.
190 TIA Comments on Tentative Findings at 2. At the same time, TIA “requests that the Commission “more
clearly differentiate between wireline feature phones and wireless feature phones,” but offers no reason for
such a request and no additional information to make such an assessment. Id.
191 Id. at 3-4. See also ¶ 18 (ACB’s position) and ¶ 39 (the Commission’s finding), supra.
192 TIA Comments on Tentative Findings at 4. TIA also recommends that the Report include additional
information about its involvement in the development of hearing aid-related standards. Id. at 2-3. The
Report now does so at ¶ 21, supra. With respect to the Commission’s assessment of industry compliance
with Sections 716, 717, and 718, in response to TIA’s request, we note that TIA held a public webinar on
November 29, 2011 “that offered training on compliance with the CVAA.” Id. at 4.
193 See ¶¶ 39-41, supra.
194 Consumer Groups Comments on Tentative Findings at 10.
195 See ¶ 46, supra, citing Consumer Groups Comments at 9-11 (most mainstream video conferencing
services are not interoperable with each other or with videophones provided by video relay service
providers, and none are able to include telecommunications relay services as part of these services).
27

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

the sort of operating environment that would achieve interoperability,” but that additional
industry work, including standards development, is necessary. TIA concludes that the
Commission’s CVAA Tentative Findings PN reflects an understanding of this limitation.196
Accordingly, we affirm our findings on accessibility barriers in new communications
technologies.197
71.
Effect of Section 717’s recordkeeping and enforcement requirements on the
development and deployment of new communications technologies. Only Consumer Groups
commented on our tentative findings, concurring with the Commission that the recordkeeping and
enforcement requirements under Section 717 of the Communications Act will not hinder the
development and deployment of new communications technologies.198 As a result, we affirm our
findings on the effect of Section 717’s recordkeeping and enforcement requirements.199
72.
Future biennial reports. With respect to future biennial reports to Congress,
Consumer Groups recommend requiring industry to provide periodic reports to the Commission
about research and development activities that directly involve members of the deaf and hard of
hearing community.200 Consumer Groups also believe that the Commission would benefit from a
review of corporate status reports.201
73.
We will continue to work with consumer, industry, and other stakeholders to
identify and obtain the data necessary to effectively inform Congress about accessible
telecommunications and advanced communications services and equipment, accessibility barriers
in new communications technologies, and the effect of the accessibility recordkeeping and
enforcement requirements on the development and deployment of new communications
technologies. However, at this time, we do not propose to adopt more specific reporting
requirements.

III.

COMMISSION ACTIONS TO IMPLEMENT THE CVAA

74.
Upon the enactment of the CVAA on October 8, 2010, the Commission
immediately began working with consumer, industry, and government stakeholders to ensure
effective and timely implementation of the CVAA’s provisions.202 Specifically, as described
below, since passage of the legislation, the Commission has taken the following actions:203


196 TIA Comments on Tentative Findings at 5. Specifically, TIA refers to the Commission’s statement in
CVAA Tentative Findings PN that “[t]here may…still be many accessibility barriers to new
communications technologies that fall outside the scope of the CVAA, including, for example, video
conferencing services that are not interoperable.” Id., citing CVAA Tentative Findings PN, ¶ 30.
197 See ¶¶ 45-46, supra.
198 Consumer Groups Comments on Tentative Findings at 10.
199 See ¶ 63, supra.
200 Consumer Groups Comments on Tentative Findings at 11.
201 Id.
202 See FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski Statement on the Signing of the 21st Century Communications
and Video Accessibility Act, October 8, 2010, available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-302014A1.pdf.
203 As noted above, this Report generally covers the time period between October 8, 2010, and December
31, 2011. See ¶ 16 of this Report, supra. Subsequent biennial reports are expected to cover periods
28

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

·
issued multiple public notices and six notices of proposed rulemaking seeking
comment on CVAA-related issues;
·
released five reports and orders adopting rules to implement various provisions of the
CVAA; and
·
established, oversaw, and supported the work of two advisory committees, both of
which timely completed their CVAA-assigned charges.204
Resources from virtually every Bureau and Office within the Commission have contributed to
this effort. To date, the Commission has met every one of the CVAA’s rigorous rulemaking
deadlines.

A.

Section 102. Hearing aid compatibility.

75.
Section 710 of the Communications Act and the Commission’s rules require all
wireline phones to be hearing aid compatible (HAC) and specify benchmarks by which certain
percentages of wireless handsets must be compliant with American National Standards Institute
(ANSI) technical standards for compatibility with hearing aids operating in both acoustic
coupling and inductive coupling modes.205 These benchmarks apply separately to each air
interface for which the manufacturer or service provider offers handsets.206 Section 102(a)(1) of
the CVAA amends Section 710 to extend these HAC requirements to customer premises
equipment (CPE) “used with advanced communications services that is designed to provide
2-way voice communication via a built-in speaker intended to be held to the ear in a manner
functionally equivalent to a telephone, subject to the regulations prescribed by the Commission
under [Section 710(e)].”207 Section 102(b) of the CVAA provides that CPE that is compliant with
technical standards developed through a public participation process and in consultation with
interested consumer stakeholders designated by the Commission will be considered hearing aid
compatible for purposes of section 710, until such time as the Commission may designate
otherwise.208 Finally, Section 102(a)(2) creates a requirement for the Commission to periodically
assess the exemptions for telephones and CPE that the Commission has applied pursuant to the
statute.209




beginning January 1 and ending two years later on December 31. Id. For this section of this Report, we
describe actions taken after October 8, 2010, and before the publication of this Report.
204 See CVAA, §§ 106 (Emergency Access Advisory Committee), 201 (Video Programming Access
Advisory Committee). See also Section III.E and Section III.F of this Report, respectively.
205 47 U.S.C. § 610; 47 C.F.R. § 20.19.
206 Id.
207 CVAA, § 102(a)(1), amending 47 U.S.C. § 610(b)(1). Pursuant to Section 710(e), in any rulemaking to
implement the HAC provisions, “the Commission shall specifically consider the costs and benefits to all
telephone users, including persons with and without hearing loss,” in accordance with technical- and
market-related parameters specified in this provision. See 47 U.S.C. § 610(e).
208 CVAA, § 102(b), amending 47 U.S.C. § 610(c). The Commission is directed to consult with the public
in establishing or approving such technical standards. 47 U.S.C. § 610(c).
209 CVAA § 102(a)(2), amending 47 U.S.C. § 610(b)(2)(B).
29

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

76.
On August 5, 2010, prior to enactment of the CVAA, the Commission released a
policy statement, report and order, and further notice of proposed rulemaking (FNPRM) seeking
comment on proposed revisions to the rules governing HAC for mobile handsets.210 The policy
statement affirmed that the Commission’s HAC rules must provide access to the most advanced
and innovative technologies on the market, while maximizing conditions for innovation and
investment.211 The report and order addressed a variety of HAC-related issues, including
procedures for revising the HAC technical standard to make it applicable across frequency bands
and interface modes, disclosure requirements for multi-band and multi-mode phones not subject
to the HAC technical standard, a narrowing of the de minimis exception, and application of the
HAC rules to both CPE with built-in speakers and handsets distributed by entities other than
service providers.212 The Commission’s accompanying FNPRM proposed to extend the
Commission’s HAC rules, to include customer equipment used to provide wireless voice
communications over any type of network among members of the public or a substantial portion
of the public.213 The FNPRM sought comment on whether to extend the in-store testing
requirement for wireless handsets to include retail outlets other than those owned or operated by
service providers, and whether to permit a user-controlled reduction of power as a means to meet
the HAC standard for operations over the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) air
interface phones operating in the 1900 megahertz (MHz) band.214
77.
On October 12, 2010, a few days after the enactment of the CVAA, the Wireless
Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) released a public notice seeking comment on the effect that
the CVAA would have, if any, on the proposals made in the FNPRM portion of the HAC Policy
Statement, 2d R&O and Further Notice
.215 Two months later, on December 28, 2010, WTB
again invited comment from the public on its HAC rules, this time through a public notice
seeking comment on specific issues related to the operation and effectiveness of these rules as
part of the comprehensive review initiated by the FNPRM.216 That public notice asked
commenters again to address the effect of the new CVAA legislation, if any, on the rules
proposed in the FNPRM.217 This proceeding is still pending.


210 Amendment of the Commission’s Rules Governing Hearing Aid-Compatible Mobile Handsets, WT
Docket No. 07-250, Policy Statement and Second Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking, FCC 10-145, 25 FCC Rcd 11167, 11192-11201, ¶¶ 73-101 (2010) (HAC Policy Statement, 2d
R&O and Further Notice
), available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-10-
145A1.pdf.
211 HAC Policy Statement, 2d R&O and Further Notice, 25 FCC Rcd at 11174, ¶ 18.
212 Id., 25 FCC Rcd at 11174-11192, ¶¶ 19-72.
213 This would go beyond the current scope of Section 20.19(a) of the Commission’s rules. 47 C.F.R. §
20.19(a).
214 HAC Policy Statement, 2d R&O and Further Notice, 25 FCC Rcd at 11192–11202, ¶¶ 73–101.
215 Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Requests that Comments in Hearing Aid Compatibility
Proceeding Address Effects of New Legislation
, WT Docket No. 07-250, Public Notice, DA 10-1936, 25
FCC 14280, released October 12, 2010, available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-
10-1936A1.pdf.
216 Comment Sought on 2010 Review of Hearing Aid Compatibility Regulations, WT Docket No. 10-254,
Public Notice, DA 10-2388, 25 FCC Rcd 17566, released December 28, 2010, available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-10-2388A1.pdf.
217 Id.
30

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

78.
On April 9, 2012, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and Office of
Engineering Technology jointly released a report and order adopting an updated 2011 American
National Standards Institute (ANSI) technical standard for the deployment of HAC digital
wireless handset models.218 The updated standard was developed through a voluntary, consensus-
driven approach, and was broadly supported by both industry and consumer groups.219 In this
proceeding, the Commission also adopted rules to phase in, over a 24-27 month period, the
Commission’s benchmarks for deploying HAC handsets operating over newly covered frequency
bands and air interfaces resulting from the adoption of the 2011 ANSI Standard,220 and phased-in
testing and consumer disclosure rules to address multi-mode and multi-band handsets for which
there was some overlap of the 2007 and 2011 ANSI standards.221

B.

Section 103. Relay services.

79.
Section 103(a) of the CVAA revises the definition of telecommunications relay
services (TRS) and Section 103(b) requires voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) service providers
to contribute to the interstate telecommunications relay service fund (TRS Fund).222
80.
Definition of TRS. The amended definition specifically identifies and includes
individuals who are deaf-blind within the categories of individuals that are covered by the TRS
provisions of the Communications Act.223 The Commission hosted two “mini-summits” with
members and representatives of the deaf-blind community – on June 15, 2010 and June 8, 2011 –
to learn more about the unique and varied communications technology challenges faced by, and
possible accessibility solutions for, individuals who are deaf-blind. Each of these mini-summits
was held at the Commission with members of Deaf-Blind Young Adults in Action, along with
representatives of the American Association of the Deaf-Blind and the Helen Keller National
Center. In addition, Commission staff attended and gave presentations at the Metro Washington
Association of the Deaf-Blind Picnic in Wheaton, Maryland, on May 5, 2012; at the Deaf-Blind
Camp of Maryland in West River, Maryland, on June 11-12, 2012; and at the Lighthouse for the
Blind in Seattle, Washington, on August 1, 2012, to better acquaint themselves with the
communications needs of this population.
81.
The CVAA’s amended definition of TRS also eliminates the limitation of
providing relay services only for calls between a person with a hearing or speech disability and a


218 Amendment of the Commission’s Rules Governing Hearing Aid-Compatible Mobile Handsets, WT
Docket No. 07-250, Third Report and Order, DA 12-550, 27 FCC Rcd 3732 (WTB/OET 2012) (HAC Third
Report and Order
), available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-12-550A1.pdf.
219 CVAA, § 102(b), amending 47 U.S.C. § 610(c); HAC Third Report and Order, 27 FCC Rcd at 3733, ¶
2.
220 HAC Third Report and Order, 27 FCC Rcd at 3741-42, ¶¶ 21-23.
221 Id., 27 FCC Rcd at 3738-41, ¶¶ 14-20.
222 CVAA, §§ 103(a) and (b).
223 CVAA, § 103(a), amending Section 225(a)(3) of the Communications Act, 47 U.S.C. § 225(a)(3). The
new definition is as follows:
The term “telecommunications relay services” means telephone transmission services that provide
the ability for an individual who is deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind, or who has a speech disability
to engage in communication by wire or radio with one or more individuals, in a manner that is
functionally equivalent to the ability of a hearing individual who does not have a speech disability
to communicate using voice communication services by wire or radio.
31

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

person without a hearing or speech disability.224 The amended definition enables the use of relay
services between and among individuals with disabilities, such as when two or more individuals
with different types of disabilities (e.g., hearing loss and speech impairment) need more than one
kind of relay service (e.g., video relay service and speech-to-speech TRS) to complete a single
relay call.225 The Commission will undertake proceedings necessary to address these definitional
changes.
82.
VoIP Contributions to the TRS Fund. Section 103(b) of the CVAA adds new
Section 715 to the Communications Act requiring interconnected and non-interconnected voice
over Internet protocol (VoIP) service providers to participate in and contribute to the TRS Fund
by October 8, 2011, in a manner prescribed by regulation that is consistent with and comparable
to the obligations of other contributors.226 Although providers of interconnected VoIP services
have been contributing to the TRS Fund since 2007,227 the CVAA, in effect, codifies this
obligation, and extends it to non-interconnected VoIP providers.
83.
As required by the CVAA, on October 7, 2011, within one year of the enactment
of the CVAA, the Commission adopted rules to implement this provision.228 The new rules
require non-interconnected VoIP service providers to register with the Commission and designate
a District of Columbia agent for service of process by December 31, 2011, and to complete and
submit FCC Form 499-A to report fourth-quarter 2011 interstate end-user revenues, by April 1,
2012, which will serve as the basis for TRS Fund contributions for the 2012-2013 funding
period.229 Covered entities must report their revenues on this form on an annual basis
thereafter.230 Among other things, the Commission’s new rules also ensure that the obligations of
non-interconnected VoIP service providers are consistent with and comparable to the obligations
of other TRS Fund contributors. For example, all TRS Fund contributions are to be assessed


224 See Title IV of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), Pub. Law 101-336, 104 Stat. 327,
codified at 47 U.S.C. § 225.
225 S. Rep. No. 111-386 at 7 (2010) (Senate Report); H.R. Rep. No. 111-563 at 23 (2010) (House Report).
226 CVAA, § 103(b), adding Section 715 to the Communications Act, codified at 47 U.S.C. § 616.
227 On May 31, 2007, the Commission extended Section 225’s TRS requirements to interconnected VoIP
service providers, including the requirement that such providers contribute to the TRS Fund. See
Implementation of Sections 255 and 251(a)(2) of the Communications Act of 1934, as Enacted by the
Telecommunications Act of 1996: Access to Telecommunications Service, Telecommunications Equipment
and Customer Premises Equipment by Persons with Disabilities; Telecommunications Relay Services and
Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals With Hearing and Speech Disabilities
, Report and Order, 22
FCC Rcd 11275, 11291-97, ¶¶ 32-43 (2007).
228 CVAA, § 103(b); 47 U.S.C. § 616. See also Contributions to the Telecommunications Relay Services
Fund
, CG Docket No. 11-47, Report and Order, FCC 11-150, 26 FCC Rcd 14532 (2011) (TRS
Contribution Report and Order
), available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-11-
150A1.pdf. See also 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.47(h), 64.601, and 64.604(c)(5)(iii), as amended. This followed the
Commission’s notice of proposed rulemaking on this subject, released March 3, 2011. See Contributions to
the Telecommunications Relay Services Fund
, CG Docket No. 11-47, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking,
FCC 11-38, 26 FCC Rcd 3285 (2011) (TRS Contribution NPRM), available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-11-38A1.pdf.
229 TRS Contributions Report and Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 14545-6, ¶ 31.
230 Id., 26 FCC Rcd at 14543, ¶ 23.
32

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

against interstate end-user revenues.231 Since these rules became effective, we believe that non-
interconnected VoIP service providers generally have complied with the new requirements.

C.

Section 104. Access to advanced communications services and equipment.

84.
Section 104(a) of the CVAA adds Sections 716, 717, and 718 to the
Communications Act as follows:232
·
Section 716 establishes accessibility requirements for advanced communications
services and equipment.233
·
Section 717
(a) establishes new recordkeeping and enforcement requirements for Sections 255,
716, and 718;234
(b) requires the Commission to submit biennial reports to Congress;
(c) requires the Comptroller General to conduct a study and report to Congress by
October 8, 2015;
(d) requires the Commission to establish an accessibility clearinghouse; and
(e) requires the Commission to conduct an information and educational program.235
·
Section 718 requires Internet browsers built into mobile phones to be accessible to
individuals who are blind or have a visual impairment.236
85.
As required by the CVAA, on October 7, 2011, within one year of enactment of
the CVAA, the Commission released a report and order adopting rules to implement Sections 716
and 717(a) of the Communications Act and a further notice of proposed rulemaking addressing
related matters and seeking comment on issues concerning the implementation of Section 718.237


231 Id., 26 FCC Rcd at 14538, ¶ 14.
232 CVAA, § 104(a), adding Sections 716, 717, and 718 to the Communications Act, codified at 47 U.S.C.
§§ 617, 618, and 619. Section 104(b) of the CVAA establishes October 8, 2013 as the effective date for
Section 718 of the Communications Act. CVAA, § 104(b). Sections 104(c) and (d) of the CVAA
established forfeiture penalties for violations of Section 255, 716, or 718 of the Communications Act, and
the right to appeal Commission determinations of such complaints to the United States Court of Appeals
for the District of Columbia. CVAA, §§ 104(c) and (d).
233 47 U.S.C. § 617.
234 Section II.A of this Report provides brief summaries of Sections 255, 716, and 718.
235 47 U.S.C. §§ 618(a)-(e).
236 47 U.S.C. § 619.
237 Implementation of Sections 716 and 717 of the Communications Act of 1934, as Enacted by the Twenty-
First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010; Amendments to the Commission’s
Rules Implementing Sections 255 and 251(a)(2) of the Communications Act of 1934, as Enacted by the
Telecommunications Act of 1996; and In the Matter of Accessible Mobile Phone Options for People who
are Blind, Deaf-Blind, or Have Low Vision
, CG Docket Nos. 10-213 and 10-145, WT Docket No. 96-198,
Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, FCC 11-151, 26 FCC Rcd 14557 (2011)
(ACS Report and Order and ACS FNPRM), available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-11-151A1.pdf. The rules adopted in the ACS
Report and Order
are codified in 47 C.F.R. Part 14. The Commission’s ACS Report and Order was
informed by public comment that came in response to, first, a public notice and, then, a notice of proposed
rulemaking on these CVAA provisions. See Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau and Wireless
33

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

The rules adopted by the Commission in the ACS Report and Order became effective January 30,
2012.238 Since that date, advanced communications service providers and equipment
manufacturers have been required to take accessibility into account in the design of their products
and services. 239 One year later, beginning on January 30, 2013, covered manufacturers and
service providers must comply with requirements to keep records pertaining to the accessibility of
their products and services.240 Under the transition period established by the Commission,
covered equipment and services must fully comply with the rules implementing Section 716 by
October 8, 2013.241 In accordance with the CVAA, Section 718 of the Communications Act also
becomes effective on October 8, 2013.242 Finally, the associated complaint procedures
established pursuant to Section 717(a) of the Communications Act also will become effective on
October 8, 2013.243
86.
The rules do not apply to customized equipment or services that are not offered
directly to the public.244 In addition, the Commission temporarily waived the accessibility rules
for advanced communications service providers and equipment manufacturers that qualify as
small business concerns (under the Small Business Administration’s rules and small business size
standards) at the start of the design of a product or service.245 Further, the Commission adopted
procedures for the filing and consideration of petitions for waiver from the advanced
communications accessibility rules for multipurpose services and equipment.246




Telecommunications Bureau Seek Comment on Advanced Communication Provisions of the Twenty-First
Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010
, CG Docket No. 10-213, Public Notice, DA
10-2029, 25 FCC Rcd 14589, released October 21, 2010 (ACS PN), available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-10-2029A1.pdf; Implementation of Sections 716
and 717 of the Communications Act of 1934, as Enacted by the Twenty-First Century Communications and
Video Accessibility Act of 2010; Amendments to the Commission’s Rules Implementing Sections 255 and
251(a)(2) of the Communications Act of 1934, as Enacted by the Telecommunications Act of 1996; and In
the Matter of Accessible Mobile Phone Options for People who are Blind, Deaf-Blind, or Have Low Vision
,
CG Docket Nos. 10-213 and 10-145, WT Docket No. 96-198, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, FCC 11-37,
26 FCC Rcd 3133 (2011) (ACS NPRM), available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-11-37A1.pdf.
238 The rules became effective 30 days after their publication in the Federal Register on December 30,
2011. See ACS Report and Order and ACS FNPRM, 26 FCC Rcd at 14696, ¶ 328. See also 76 Fed. Reg.
82240 (Dec. 30, 2011).
239 See ACS Report and Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 14602, ¶ 108.
240 47 U.S.C. § 618(a)(5)(A).
241 ACS Report and Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 14602-3, ¶ 110.
242 CVAA, § 104(b).
243 47 C.F.R. § 14.30(c); 47 C.F.R. §§ 14.32-14.37.
244 47 U.S.C. § 617(i); 47 C.F.R. § 14.3.
245 47 U.S.C. § 617(h)(2); 47 C.F.R. § 14.4. The small entity exemption will expire on the effective date of
rules adopted pursuant to the ACS FNPRM, or October 8, 2013, whichever is earlier. See 47 C.F.R. §
14.4(c). The Commission sought further comment on whether and to what extent the Commission should
adopt a permanent exemption for small entities. See ACS FNPRM, 26 FCC Rcd at 14677-681, ¶ 279-291.
246 47 U.S.C. § 617(h)(1); 47 C.F.R. § 14.5. The Commission also adopted general outcome-oriented
performance objectives that define accessible, usable, and compatible. See 47 C.F.R. § 14.21.
Consideration of more specific performance objectives is deferred until the Access Board adopts final
guidelines for Sections 255 and 508. See ACS Report and Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 14647-48, ¶ 212.
34

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

87.
Since the rules adopted in the ACS Report and Order became effective, the
Commission has received one petition for reconsideration and three waiver requests.
·
Petition for Reconsideration. TDI et al. filed a petition for reconsideration on
January 30, 2012, contending that the Commission erred by not imposing regulatory
obligations on providers of software that the end user acquires separately from
equipment used for advanced communications services.247 This petition is pending.
·
Waiver Requests. The Commission sought comment on the following petitions for
waivers of the rules implementing Sections 716 and 717 for multi-purpose equipment
or services that the petitioners claim are designed primarily for purposes other than
advanced communications services.
o Entertainment Software Association (ESA) – ESA seeks a waiver for three
classes of products and services for a period of at least eight years: (1) game
consoles, both home and handheld, and their peripherals and integrated online
networks; (2) game distribution and online game play services; and (3) game
software.248
o Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) – CEA seeks a waiver for Internet
protocol-enabled television sets (IP-TVs) and Internet protocol-enabled digital
video players (IP-DVPs) that allow consumers to access and use advanced
communications services and are first manufactured prior to July 1, 2016.249


247 Petition of Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc., Trace R&D Center, University
of Wisconsin-Madison, and Technology Access Program, Gallaudet University (TDI et al.), for
Reconsideration, CG Docket No. 10-213 (filed Jan. 30, 2012), available at
http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7021857329. The rules adopted by the Commission hold
entities that make equipment used for advanced communications services (e.g., laptops, tablets, and
smartphones) responsible for the accessibility of the hardware and its software components. ACS Report
and Order
, 26 FCC Rcd at 14581, ¶ 60. See also 47 C.F.R. § 14.20(a)(1). The rules also hold providers of
advanced communications services responsible for the accessibility of the underlying components of their
services, including software applications. ACS Report and Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 14590, ¶ 85. See also 47
C.F.R. § 14.20(a)(2). The rules do not, however, hold manufacturers responsible for the accessibility of
software that is independently selected and installed by a user, or that the user chooses to use in the cloud.
ACS Report and Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 14588, ¶ 78. The Commission also concluded that developers of
software applications do not have their own independent accessibility obligations. Id., 26 FCC Rcd at -
14592, ¶ 87.
248 Petition of the Entertainment Software Association at 4, CG Docket No. 10-213 (filed Mar. 21, 2012),
available at http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7021902591. See also Request for Comment:
Petition for Class Waiver of Commission's Rules for Access to Advanced Communications Services and
Equipment by People with Disabilities
, CG Docket No. 10-213, Public Notice, DA 12-760, 27 FCC Rcd
5204, released May 15, 2012, available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-12-
760A1.pdf.
249 Consumer Electronics Association Petition for Waiver at 1-2, CG Docket No. 10-213 (filed Mar. 22,
2012), available at http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7021902799. See also Request for
Comment: Petition for Class Waiver of Commission's Rules for Access to Advanced Communications
Services and Equipment by People with Disabilities
, CG Docket No. 10-213, Public Notice, DA 12-759, 27
FCC Rcd 5202, released May 15, 2012, available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-
12-759A1.pdf.
35

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

o National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) – NCTA seeks a
waiver for set-top boxes leased by cable operators to their customers and
manufactured before July 1, 2016, that are capable of accessing services or
features that may qualify as advanced communications services. 250
88.
Section 717. The rules adopted by the Commission to implement Section 717
established new recordkeeping and enforcement procedures for service providers and equipment
manufacturers that are subject to Sections 255, 716, and 718.251 Specifically, covered entities
must keep records of their efforts to implement Sections 255, 716, and 718, including information
about their efforts to consult with people with disabilities, descriptions of the accessibility
features of their products and services, and information about the compatibility of these products
and services with peripheral devices or specialized customer premises equipment commonly used
by people with disabilities to achieve access.252 By April 1, 2013, and annually thereafter,
covered entities must certify that they are maintaining these records, as required, and provide
contact information for both persons within their companies charged with resolving complaints
and agents designated for service of complaints.253 The Commission also adopted rules and
procedures for the resolution of consumer disputes, informal complaints, and formal
complaints.254
89.
ACS Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ACS FNPRM) The ACS FNPRM,
which was released with the ACS Report and Order, sought comment on several issues:
·
how to implement Section 718 of the Communications Act, which becomes effective
October 8, 2013, and requires Internet browsers built into mobile phones to be
accessible to and usable by people who are blind or have a visual impairment, unless
doing so is not achievable;
·
whether to retain or alter the recordkeeping requirements adopted by the Commission
for entities covered under Section 718;
·
whether and to what extent the Commission should adopt a permanent exemption for
small entities;
·
alternative proposed definitions of “interoperable” video conferencing service and
whether to require video mail service to be accessible to individuals with disabilities
when provided along with a video conferencing service;


250 National Cable & Telecommunications Association Petition for Waiver at 1-2, CG Docket No. 10-213
(filed June 1, 2012), available at http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7021921284. See also Request
for Comment: Petition for Class Waiver of Commission’s Rules for Access to Advanced Communications
Services and Equipment by People with Disabilities
, CG Docket No. 10-213, Public Notice, DA 12-984, 27
FCC Rcd 7101, released June 21, 2012, available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-
12-984A1.pdf.
251 47 U.S.C. § 618; 47 C.F.R. §§ 14.30-14.52.
252 47 C.F.R. § 14.31(a).
253 47 C.F.R. § 14.31(b).
254 47 C.F.R. §§ 14.32 (consumer dispute assistance), 14.34-14.37 (informal complaints), 14.38-14.52
(formal complaints). See Section II.D of this Report, supra, for a description of the consumer dispute
resolution and informal complaint procedures.
36

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

·
how to interpret the phrase “may not impair or impede the accessibility of
information content” when accessibility has been incorporated into that content for
transmission through advanced communications services, equipment, and networks;
·
the meaning of “electronically mediated services,” the extent to which such services
are covered under Section 716, and how they can be used to transform advanced
communication services into an accessible form;
·
whether performance objectives should include certain testable criteria; and
·
whether certain safe harbor technical standards will allow the components in the
advanced communications service architecture to work together more efficiently,
thereby facilitating accessibility.255
The Commission is reviewing the comments submitted and will proceed with additional
rulemaking proceedings or other actions to address these issues, as needed.
90.
Accessibility Clearinghouse. Section 717(d) of the Communications Act requires
the Commission, within one year after the enactment of the CVAA, or by October 8, 2011, to
establish a clearinghouse of information on the availability of accessible products and services
and accessibility solutions required under Sections 255, 716, and 718 of the Communications
Act.256 The clearinghouse information must be made publicly available on the Commission’s
website and by other means, and must include an annually updated list of products and services
with access features.257
91.
The Commission launched its Accessibility Clearinghouse, available at
http://fcc.gov/AccessibilityClearinghouse, in October 2011. The Accessibility Clearinghouse is a
web-based repository of information about accessibility solutions for telecommunications and
advanced communications services and equipment. Among other things, it presently contains an
online database that consumers can use to search for wireless handsets with accessibility features
that meet the needs of various disabilities,258 as well as information about accessibility
applications and assistive technology solutions, and organizations supporting accessible
telecommunications. The Commission is in the process of expanding the Clearinghouse to
include other data sets, including technical assistance for developers on how to design accessible
information and communication technologies. In addition, on September 6-7, 2012, the
Commission hosted a developers’ event that focused, in part, on developing application


255 ACS FNPRM, 26 FCC Rcd at 14677-14692, ¶¶ 279-317. See also Consumer & Governmental Affairs
Bureau and Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Announce Pleading Cycle for Comments and Reply
Comments on Advanced Communications Provisions of the Twenty-First Century Communications and
Video Accessibility Act of 2010
, CG Docket No. 10-213, Public Notice, DA 12-1, 27 FCC Rcd 1, released
January 3, 2012, available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-12-1A1.pdf.
256 47 U.S.C. § 618(d).
257 Id.
258 In 2010, CTIA revamped its accessibility web site, AccessWireless.org, to better inform consumers with
disabilities about the availability of accessible mobile phone options. The new site was officially unveiled
at the CTIA conference in March 2011and was a recipient of an FCC Chairman’s Award for Advancement
in Accessibility in October 2011. See FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski Joins Commissioner Michael
Copps to Honor Innovators in Accessibility Communications Technologies
, October 28, 2011, available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-310717A1.pdf. The Commission ultimately used
the information contained on this new site, largely derived from the Global Accessibility Reporting
Initiative (GARI) of the Mobile Manufacturers Forum, to help develop its Accessibility Clearinghouse. For
more information about GARI and the Mobile Manufacturers Forum, visit http://MobileAccessibility.info.
37

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

programming interfaces (APIs) for populating and retrieving information to and from the
Clearinghouse. The Commission expects that visits to the Accessibility Clearinghouse will
continue to increase as a result of ongoing expansion of the data it contains, improvements to its
user interface, and a future outreach campaign.259
92.
Outreach and Education. Section 717(e) of the Communications Act requires
the Commission to conduct an informational and educational program designed to inform the
public about the availability of the Accessibility Clearinghouse and the protections and remedies
available under Sections 255, 716, and 718 of the Communications Act.260
93.
Over the past two years, Commission staff have made presentations and
disseminated information about the CVAA, the Accessibility Clearinghouse, and consumer rights
and remedies available under Sections 255, 716, and 718 of the Communications Act at numerous
conferences and events attended by individuals with disabilities, industry representatives, and
members of the public.261 In addition, the Commission has developed consumer guides, which
are available on its website and in hard copy, about the CVAA and the Commission’s
implementing regulations.262 The Commission plans to continue these and other outreach and
educational activities.

D.

Section 105. National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program.

263
94.
Section 105 of the CVAA adds Section 719 to the Communications Act, which
authorizes support for programs that distribute equipment designed to make telecommunications
service, Internet access service, and advanced communications accessible by low-income
individuals who are deaf-blind.264 Section 719(a) directs the Commission to establish, within six
months after enactment of the CVAA, rules that define as eligible for support those programs
approved by the Commission for the distribution of such equipment.265 Section 719(c) authorizes
the Commission to allocate $10 million annually from the interstate telecommunications relay
service fund (TRS Fund) for this purpose.266
95.
On April 4, 2011, within the six-month time period mandated by the CVAA, the
Commission adopted interim rules to establish a National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution
Program (NDBEDP) as a two-year pilot program, with the option of extending the pilot program


259 Companies wishing to contribute information about accessibility solutions may contact
Clearinghouse@fcc.gov.
260 47 U.S.C. § 618(e).
261 These events are listed in Appendix C to this Report.
262 A list of these consumer guides is provided in Appendix D to this Report.
263 Although Section 105 of the CVAA is entitled “Relay services for deaf-blind individuals,” this section
actually authorizes financial support for programs that distribute communications equipment to low-income
individuals who are deaf-blind, which the Commission refers to as the “National Deaf-Blind Equipment
Distribution Program.”
264 CVAA, § 105, adding Section 719 to the Communications Act, codified at 47 U.S.C. § 620. Section
719(b) defines “individuals who are deaf-blind” as that term is defined in the Helen Keller National Center
Act. 47 U.S.C. § 620(b); 29 U.S.C. § 1905(2).
265 47 U.S.C. § 620(a).
266 47 U.S.C. § 620(c).
38

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

for a third year. 267 The purpose of the pilot program is to allow the Commission to assess the
most efficient and effective method of administering the NDBEDP on a permanent basis.
96.
Under the NDBEDP pilot, the Commission provides funding to one certified
entity in each state, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, to
distribute equipment to individuals who meet the program’s eligibility criteria.268 In addition to
certifying local entities for the distribution of communications equipment, the Commission set
aside $500,000 per year of the $10 million allocated for this pilot program, to ensure effective
national outreach on the NDBEDP.269
97.
The Commission announced the entities certified to participate in the NDBEDP,
their respective funding amounts, and formally launched the NDBEDP, effective July 1, 2012.270
The Commission also selected the Perkins School for the Blind, in partnership with the Helen
Keller National Center and FableVision, to conduct national outreach.271 For more information
about this national outreach campaign, visit www.iCanConnect.org.


267 Implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010,
Section 105, Relay Services for Deaf-Blind Individuals
, CG Docket No. 10-210, Report and Order, FCC
11-56, 26 FCC Rcd 5640 (2011) (NDBEDP Pilot Order), available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-11-56A1.pdf. See also 47 C.F.R. § 64.610. These
rules were informed by comments received in response to, first, a public notice and, then, a notice of
proposed rulemaking. See Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Seeks Comment on Implementation
of Requirement to Define Programs for Distribution of Specialized Customer Premises Equipment Used by
Individuals who are Deaf-Blind
, CG Docket No. 10-210, Public Notice, DA 10-2112, 25 FCC Rcd 15288,
released November 3, 2010 (NDBEDP PN), available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-10-2112A1.pdf; Implementation of the Twenty-First
Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Section 105, Relay Services for Deaf-Blind
Individuals
, CG Docket No. 10-210, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, FCC 11-3, 26 FCC Rcd 688 (2011)
(NDBEDP NPRM), available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-11-3A1.pdf.
268 NDBEDP Pilot Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 5646, ¶ 12. Eligible individuals must be “deaf-blind,” as defined
in the Helen Keller National Center Act. See 47 U.S.C. § 620(b), citing 29 U.S.C. § 1905(2). See also
NDBEDP Pilot Order
, 26 FCC Rcd at 5650-2, ¶¶ 23-27. Eligible individuals must also be “low income,”
which the Commission defined as having income that does not exceed 400% of the Federal Poverty
Guidelines. See 47 U.S.C. § 620(a). See also NDBEDP Pilot Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 5654-7, ¶ 33-37.
269 NDBEDP Pilot Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 5676, ¶ 80.
270 Commission Announces Entities Certified to Participate in the National Deaf-Blind Equipment
Distribution Program
. CG Docket No. 10-210, Public Notice, DA 12-1050, 27 FCC Rcd 7397, released
July 2, 2012, available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-12-1050A1.pdf. See also
Commission Announces Launch of the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program,
CG Docket
No. 10-210, Public Notice, DA 12-1051, 27 FCC Rcd 7403, released July 2, 2012, available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-12-1051A1.pdf. Interested entities had applied for
certification to participate in the NBDEDP during a 60-day period that ended on November 21, 2011. See
FCC Announces 60-Day Period to Apply for Certification to Participate in the National Deaf-Blind
Equipment Distribution Program
, CG Docket No. 10-210, Public Notice, DA 11-1591, 26 FCC Rcd 13118,
released September 22, 2011, available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-11-
1591A1.pdf.
271 Perkins School for the Blind to Conduct National Outreach for the National Deaf-Blind Equipment
Distribution Program
. CG Docket No. 10-210, Public Notice, DA 12-910, 27 FCC Rcd 6143, released June
8, 2012, available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-12-910A1.pdf. The Perkins
School was selected after reviewing the three outreach applications that had been received in response to a
public notice soliciting such applications. See FCC Invites Applicants to Conduct National Outreach for
the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program
, CG Docket No. 10-210, Public Notice, DA 11-
39

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

E.

Section 106. Emergency Access Advisory Committee.

98.
The CVAA directs the Commission to establish an Emergency Access Advisory
Committee (EAAC) within 60 days after its date of enactment, for the purpose of achieving equal
access to emergency services by individuals with disabilities.272 The CVAA instructs the EAAC,
within one year after the completion of the member appointment process, to conduct a national
survey to determine the most effective and efficient technologies and methods by which to enable
access to emergency services by individuals with disabilities and develop and submit to the
Commission recommendations to implement such technologies and methods.273 Finally, the
CVAA authorizes the Commission to promulgate regulations to implement the recommendations
proposed by the EAAC, as well as any other regulations, technical standards, protocols, and
procedures as are necessary to achieve reliable, interoperable communication that ensures access
by individuals with disabilities to an Internet protocol-enabled emergency network, where
achievable and technically feasible.274
99.
After inviting nominations for membership in the EAAC on October 19, 2010,275
the Commission announced the appointment of members and co-chairs of the EAAC for a period
of two years on December 7, 2010 – completing this task within the 60-day timeframe established
by the CVAA.276 Meetings of the EAAC began January 14, 2011, were held monthly throughout
2011,277 and were held three times in 2012.278 Additional meetings are scheduled for October 12
and November 9, 2012.
100.
On March 16, 2011, the EAAC released the national survey.279 Following
closure of the survey on April 25, 2011, the EAAC analyzed 3,149 fully completed surveys,280




1767, 26 FCC Rcd 14517, released October 21, 2011, available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-11-1767A1.pdf.
272 CVAA, § 106(a).
273 CVAA, § 106(c).
274 CVAA, § 106(g).
275 FCC Requests Nominations for Membership on Emergency Access Advisory Committee in Accordance
with the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act,
Public Notice, DA 10-2001,
25 FCC Rcd 14514, released October 19, 2010, available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-10-2001A1.pdf.
276 Emergency Access Advisory Committee Announcement of Members, Public Notice, DA 10-2318, 25
FCC Rcd 17084, released December 7, 2010, available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-10-2318A1.pdf.
277 The Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. App. 2, does not apply to the EAAC. CVAA, § 106(f).
Nevertheless, notice for each of the meetings was provided in the Federal Register. See, e.g.,76 Fed. Reg.
30169 (announcement of meeting to be held on June 10, 2011) (May 24, 2011). More information about
the EAAC is available at http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/emergency-access-advisory-committee-eaac.
278 In 2012, the EAAC met in February, March, and September.
279 Emergency Access Advisory Committee Releases National Survey to Learn about Emergency Calling by
Individuals with Disabilities
, News Release (2011), available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-305233A1.pdf.
280 There were also partially complete surveys that, when added to the number of fully completed surveys,
showed that the online survey was viewed 12,766 times.
40

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

and submitted its survey report to the Commission on July 21, 2011.281 Following release of the
EAAC Survey Report, the EAAC formed subcommittees to undertake consideration of the policy
and technical issues concerning the accessibility of emergency services by individuals with
disabilities. The EAAC submitted its final report and recommendations to the Commission by
December 7, 2011, in compliance with the deadline established by the CVAA.282
101.
In the EAAC Report and Recommendations, the EAAC identified, inter alia, four
specific areas for further research and investigation.283 On February 10, 2012, the Committee
committed to continue its work through 2012 to address these four areas, along with three
additional issues identified for further consideration, and formed seven new subcommittees for
this purpose.284 In conjunction with its meeting of March 30, 2012, the EAAC hosted an
Exhibition Fair of 10 vendors at the Commission’s Technology Experience Center, showcasing
several commercial text-to-911 technologies and applications.285 At this meeting, the EAAC also
adopted the following resolution: “EAAC supports as an interim solution for text to 9-1-1, at a
minimum, SMS, and other technologies as appropriate, with a three digit short code 9-1-1.”286
Subsequently, Verizon announced that it is working to make SMS-to-911 capabilities available to
select public safety answering points (PSAPs) by early 2013,287 and AT&T announced it will
launch a trial for text-to-911 in 2012 with a goal for a nationwide launch in 2013.288
102.
In concert with the work of the EAAC, the Commission has continued its efforts
to address ways that modern communications technologies can enable the public to obtain
emergency assistance. On December 21, 2010, the Commission released a notice of inquiry
seeking comment on how to bridge the gap between the capabilities of modern networks and
devices and today’s legacy 911 system and how to further the transition to Internet protocol-based


281 EAAC, Report on Emergency Calling for Persons with Disabilities Survey Review and Analysis 2011
(EAAC Survey Report), July 21, 2011, available at http://transition.fcc.gov/cgb/dro/EAAC/EAAC-
REPORT.pdf.
282 EAAC, Emergency Access Advisory Committee Report and Recommendations (EAAC Report and
Recommendations
), December 6, 2011, available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-312161A1.pdf.
283 EAAC Report and Recommendations: Recommendation P2.10 Sign Language and Other
Communications Assistance; Recommendation P3.3 Interoperability Testing; Recommendation P6.3
Timeline Contingency; and Recommendation T1.2 Short Term Mobile Solutions.
284 The additional areas for consideration were as follows: TTY transition/roadmap; completion of the
sections deleted from the EAAC Report and Recommendations; and identifying gaps and potential problems
in NENA i3 with respect to the EAAC recommendations. See EAAC, Minutes, February 10, 2012,
available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-314281A1.doc.
285 The Federal Communications Commission’s Emergency Access Advisory Committee to Sponsor an
Exhibition Fair of “Text-to-911” Technologies and Applications March 28 & 29, 2012
, Public Notice, DA
12-266, 27 FCC Rcd 2027, released February 23, 2012, available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-12-266A1.pdf.
286 EAAC, Minutes, March 30, 2012, available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-
316390A1.doc.
287 See Verizon Selects TeleCommunication Systems to Provide Text to 911 National Gateway Solution,
News Release (May 3, 2012), available at http://newscenter.verizon.com/press-
releases/verizon/2012/verizon-selects.html.
288 See 911 in the Smartphone Age, AT&T Public Policy Blog (June 12, 2012), available at
http://attpublicpolicy.com/public-safety/911-in-the-smartphone-age/.
41

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

communications capabilities for emergency communications and next generation 9-1-1
(NG911).289 The Commission followed this with a notice of proposed rulemaking released on
September 22, 2011, seeking comment on accelerating the migration to development and
deployment of NG911 technology to enable the public to send emergency communications via
text, photos, videos, and data.290 That proceeding noted that adding text and other media
capabilities to our 911 system can bring significant benefits for people with disabilities.291 The
Commission will continue evaluating the best ways to achieve reliable, interoperable
communication that ensures access by individuals with disabilities to an Internet protocol-enabled
emergency network, where achievable and technically feasible.

F.

Section 201. Video Programming Accessibility Advisory Committee.

292
103.
Section 201 of the CVAA directs the Commission to establish the Video
Programming Accessibility Advisory Committee (VPAAC) within 60 days after October 8, 2010,
the date of CVAA’s enactment.293 The CVAA tasks the VPAAC to submit to the Commission,
within six months after the date of the first meeting of the VPAAC, a report that included
recommendations regarding the provision and delivery of closed captions of video programming
delivered using Internet protocol.294 Additionally, the new legislation directs the VPAAC to
submit to the Commission, within 18 months after October 8, 2010, a report that includes
recommendations regarding the provision and delivery of video descriptions of video
programming and the provision and delivery of emergency information delivered using Internet
protocol or digital broadcast television.295 That report is also to include recommendations
regarding accessible user interfaces for video programming apparatus and accessible video
programming guides and menus provided by navigation devices (set-top boxes).296


289 Framework for Next Generation 911 Deployment, PS Docket No. 10-255, Notice of Inquiry, FCC 10-
200, 25 FCC Rcd 17869 (2010), available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-10-
200A1.pdf.
290 Facilitating the Deployment of Text-to-911 and Other Next Generation 911 Applications; Framework
for Next Generation 911 Deployment
, PS Docket Nos. 11-153 and 10-255, Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking, FCC 11-134, 26 FCC Rcd 13615 (2011) (Text-to-911 NPRM), available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-11-134A1.pdf.
291 Text-to-911 NPRM, 26 FCC Rcd at 13619, ¶ 11.
292 Although the CVAA called this committee the “Video Programming and Emergency Access Advisory
Committee,” the Commission has used the title “Video Programming Accessibility Advisory Committee”
to establish the acronym “VPAAC,” rather than “VPEAAC,” to distinguish it from the Emergency Access
Advisory Committee or “EAAC.” See Section III.E of this Report, supra, for more information about the
EAAC.
293 CVAA, § 201(a).
294 CVAA, § 201(e)(1). Closed captioning is the visual display of the audio portion of video programming,
which provides access to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. See 47 C.F.R. § 79.1(a)(4).
295 CVAA, §§ 201(e)(2)(A)-(E). Video description is audio narrated descriptions of a television program’s
key visual elements that are inserted into natural pauses in the program’s dialogue, which makes video
programming more accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired. 47 U.S.C. § 613(h)(1); 47
C.F.R. § 79.3(a)(3).
296 CVAA, §§ 201(e)(2)(F)-(H).
42

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

104.
After soliciting nominations for membership in the VPAAC on October 19,
2010,297 the Commission announced the members and co-chairs of the VPAAC on December 7,
2010, within the 60-day time limit established by the CVAA.298 VPAAC members were assigned
to four working groups designated to cover the following issues: (1) Internet protocol based
closed captioning and pass through of closed captioning; (2) video description; (3) emergency
information; and (4) accessibility of user interfaces, apparatus functions, on-screen text menus,
and video programming guides and menus provided by navigation devices.299 The first meeting
of the full VPAAC was held on January 13, 2011.300
105.
The VPAAC submitted its first report to the Commission with recommendations
on closed captioning on July 13, 2011, within six-months after the first VPAAC meeting, as
mandated by the CVAA.301 Upon submission of the first report, the Commission initiated a
rulemaking proceeding to implement the closed captioning provisions of the CVAA, as described
in Section III.G and Section III.H of this Report.
106.
The VPAAC submitted its second report to the Commission with
recommendations on video description, emergency information, apparatus user interfaces, and
navigation device programming guides and menus on April 9, 2012, within 18-months after
October 8, 2010, as mandated by the CVAA.302 Upon submission of the second report, the
Commission released public notices seeking comment on the second VPAAC report, which will
inform related rulemakings pursuant to the CVAA, as described in Sections III.G, H, I, and J of
this Report.303


297 FCC Requests Nominations for Membership on Video Programming and Emergency Access Advisory
Committee in Accordance with the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act,
Public Notice, DA 10-2001, 25 FCC Rcd 14518, released October 19, 2010, available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-10-2002A1.pdf.
298 Video Programming and Emergency Access Advisory Committee Announcement of Members, Public
Notice, DA 10-2320, 25 FCC Rcd 17094, released December 7, 2010, available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-10-2320A1.pdf.
299 The scope of the second working group initially included pass through of closed captioning, but that
issue was addressed by the first working group.
300 Other meetings of the full VPAAC took place in May and November 2011 and in February 2012. The
members of each of the VPAAC working groups met more frequently and regularly by teleconference.
More information about the VPAAC is available at http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/video-programming-
accessibility-advisory-committee-vpaac.
301 VPAAC, First Report of the Video Programming Accessibility Advisory Committee on the Twenty-First
Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010: Closed Captioning of Video Programming
Delivered Using Internet Protocol
(VPAAC First Report), July 13, 2011, available at
http://transition.fcc.gov/cgb/dro/VPAAC/First_VPAAC_Report_to_the_FCC_7-11-11_FINAL.pdf.
302 The Second Report of the Video Programming Accessibility Advisory Committee on the Twenty-First
Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010
(VPAAC Second Report) was submitted to
the Commission in three parts which are available at http://vpaac.wikispaces.com/home: (1) Video
Description
(Report on Video Description); (2) Access to Emergency Information (Report on Emergency
Information
); and (3) User Interfaces, and Video Programming Guides and Menus (Report on User
Interfaces
).
303 Media Bureau and Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Seek Comment on Second VPAAC
Report: Video Description and Access to Emergency Information
, MB Docket No. 12-107, Public Notice,
DA 12-636, 27 FCC Rcd 4195, released April 24, 2012, available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-12-636A1.pdf; Media Bureau and Consumer and
43

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

G.

Section 202. Video description and closed captioning.

107.
Section 202 of the CVAA amends the Communications Act with respect to the
provision of video description, accessible emergency information, closed captioning on video
programming delivered using Internet protocol, and petitions for exemption from the closed
captioning requirements.304
108.
Video Description.305 Section 202(a) of the CVAA amends Section 713 of the
Communications Act to require, one year after the enactment of the CVAA, the reinstatement of
Commission regulations that mandated the provision of video description on video programming,
with certain modifications.306 In addition, not later than one year after the completion of the
phase-in of the reinstated regulations, or by July 1, 2013, the Commission must initiate an inquiry
on video description and report to Congress one year after initiating that inquiry, i.e., by July 1,
2014.307 After filing that report to Congress by July 1, 2014, but no later than October 8, 2016,
six years after the enactment date of the CVAA, the Commission must extend the video
description requirements to broadcast stations in the top 60 television markets.308 Not before two
years after completing that report, the Commission may increase the requirement by up to 75
percent (from 50 to 87.5 hours per quarter) for televised video programming.309 Nine years after
the date of enactment of the CVAA, or by October 8, 2019, the Commission must submit to
Congress another report assessing the provision of video description, particularly with respect to
television markets outside the top 60.310 Ten years after the date of enactment of the CVAA, or
on October 8, 2020, the Commission is authorized to phase in the video description regulations
for up to 10 additional television market areas each year.311




Governmental Affairs Bureau Seek Comment on Second VPAAC Report: User Interfaces, and Video
Programming Guides and Menus
, MB Docket No. 12-108, Public Notice, DA 12-635, 27 FCC Rcd 4191,
released April 24, 2012, available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-12-635A1.pdf.
See also Sections III.G, H, I, and J of this Report, infra.
304 CVAA, § 202.
305 Video description is audio narrated descriptions of a television program’s key visual elements that are
inserted into natural pauses in the program’s dialogue, which makes video programming more accessible to
individuals who are blind or visually impaired. See 47 U.S.C. § 613(h)(1); 47 C.F.R. § 79.3(a)(3).
306 CVAA, § 202(a); 47 U.S.C. §§ 613(f)(1) and (2). The Commission adopted rules requiring video
description in 2000, but those rules were vacated by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
Circuit. Motion Picture Ass’n of America, Inc. v. Federal Communications Comm., 309 F.3d 796 (D.C.
Cir. 2002).
307 47 U.S.C. § 613(f)(3).
308 47 U.S.C. §§ 613(f)(4)(C)(i) and (ii). The Commission established July 1, 2015 as the date by which the
video description rules will be extended to broadcast station affiliates located in the top 60 television
markets (based on Nielsen ratings as of January 1, 2015). See Video Description Report and Order, 26
FCC Rcd at 11855-6, ¶ 16.
309 47 U.S.C. §§ 613(f)(4)(A) and (B).
310 47 U.S.C. § 613(f)(4)(C)(iii).
311 47 U.S.C. § 613(f)(4)(C)(iv).
44

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

109.
On August 25, 2011, the Commission released a report and order reinstating the
video description rules.312 As required under the CVAA, these rules were reinstated on October
8, 2011.313 Under the reinstated rules, beginning July 1, 2012, full-power affiliates of the top four
commercial television broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC) located in the top 25
television markets (based on Nielsen ratings as of January 1, 2011) must provide 50 hours per
calendar quarter (about four hours per week) of video-described prime time and/or children’s
programming.314 Also beginning July 1, 2012, multichannel video programming distributors
(MVPDs) with 50,000 or more subscribers must provide 50 hours per calendar quarter (about four
hours per week) of video-described prime time and/or children’s programming on each of the top
five national non-broadcast networks (as determined by Nielsen at three-year intervals) that they
carry.315 Video described programming counts towards the 50 hours per quarter requirement
when it is aired for the first or second time by that distributor.316 Any broadcast station or
MVPD, regardless of affiliation, location, or size, must pass through video description when
provided if it has the technical capability to do so (the pass-through requirement), and that
technical capability is not being used for another purpose related to the programming, such as
providing a Spanish language audio stream (the exception to the pass-through requirement).317
110.
Emergency Information. Section 202(a) of the CVAA amends Section 713 of the
Communications Act to require the Commission to complete a proceeding, not later than one year
after the second VPAAC report is submitted to the Commission, or by April 9, 2013, to identify
methods and promulgate regulations that require video programming owners, providers, and
distributors to convey emergency information in a manner that is accessible to individuals who
are blind or visually impaired.318 On April 24, 2012, the Commission released a public notice
seeking comment on the second VPAAC report with respect to accessible emergency
information, which will inform the Commission’s proceeding on this issue.319


312 Video Description: Implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video
Accessibility Act of 2010
, MB Docket No. 11-43, Report and Order, FCC 11-126, 26 FCC Rcd 11847
(2011) (Video Description Report and Order), available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-11-126A1.pdf; 47 C.F.R. § 79.3. The report and
order followed a notice of proposed rulemaking, released on March 3, 2011, seeking comment on the
implementation of the video description provision. Video Description: Implementation of the Twenty-First
Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010
, MB Docket No. 11-43, Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking, FCC 11-36, 26 FCC Rcd 2975 (2011), available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-11-36A1_Rcd.pdf.
313 CVAA, § 202(a); 47 U.S.C. § 713(f)(1); Video Description Report and Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 11848, ¶
2.
314 Video Description Report and Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 11850-1, ¶ 5.
315 Id., 26 FCC Rcd at 11850-1, ¶ 5. Currently, the top five non-broadcast networks are USA, Disney
Channel, TNT, Nickelodeon, and TBS. Id., 26 FCC Rcd at 11854, ¶ 12. ESPN and Fox News are
excluded because they do not have at least 50 hours per quarter of prime time pre-recorded programming.
Id., 26 FCC Rcd at 11855, ¶ 14.
316 Id., 26 FCC Rcd at 11850, ¶ 5.
317 Id., 26 FCC Rcd at 11858 and 11862, ¶¶ 20 and 28.
318 CVAA, § 202(a); 47 U.S.C. § 613(g). The second VPAAC report was submitted to the Commission on
April 9, 2012. See Section III.F of this Report, supra; 47 C.F.R. §§ 79.1 (defining video programming
providers and distributors) and 79.2 (defining emergency information).
319 Media Bureau and Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Seek Comment on Second VPAAC
Report: Video Description and Access to Emergency Information
, MB Docket No. 12-107, Public Notice,
DA 12-636, 27 FCC Rcd 4195, released April 24, 2012, available at
45

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

111.
Closed Captioning on Video Programming Delivered Using Internet Protocol.
Section 202(b) of the CVAA amends Section 713(c) of the Communications Act to require the
Commission to complete a proceeding, not later than six months after the first VPAAC report is
submitted to the Commission, or by January 13, 2012, to adopt requirements for the provision of
closed captioning on video programming delivered using Internet protocol (IP).320 The
requirements are to apply to video programming that was published or exhibited on television
with captions after the effective date of such regulations.321
112.
On January 13, 2012, within the deadline established by the CVAA, the
Commission released a report and order adopting rules governing the closed captioning
requirements for the owners, providers, and distributors of video programming delivered using
IP.322 The rules establish an implementation schedule starting September 30, 2012, for video
programming that a distributor shows for the first time using IP (i.e., video programming newly
added to the distributor’s IP inventory).323 For video programming that is already in a
distributor’s IP inventory, the distributor must add captions within 45 days after the video
programming is shown on TV with captions on or after March 30, 2014.324 Among other things,
the rules adopted by the Commission also establish a mechanism for petitioning the Commission
for a full or partial exemption from the IP captioning requirements based on economic burden;
and establish procedures for the filing and resolution of written complaints.325
113.
The Commission has received one petition for reconsideration and two requests
for waiver from the IP closed captioning requirements.




http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-12-636A1.pdf. See also Section III.F of this
Report, supra.
320 CVAA, § 202(a); 47 U.S.C. § 613(c)(2). The first VPAAC report was submitted to the Commission on
July 13, 2011. See Section III.F of this Report, supra. Closed captioning is the visual display of the audio
portion of video programming, which provides access to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. See
47 C.F.R. § 79.1(a)(4).
321 47 U.S.C. § 613(c)(2).
322 Closed Captioning of Internet Protocol-Delivered Video Programming: Implementation of the Twenty-
First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010
, MB Docket No. 11-154, Report and
Order, FCC 12-9, 27 FCC Rcd 787 (2012) (IP Closed Captioning Order), available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-12-9A1.pdf; 47 C.F.R. § 79.4. The Commission
also adopted rules to implement the CVAA provision amending the requirements for closed captioning
capabilities of certain apparatus on which consumers view video programming. See Section III.H of this
Report, infra. The Commission’s rules on IP-delivered video programming and apparatus captioning
capabilities were informed by public comment in response to a notice of proposed rulemaking released on
September 19, 2011. See Closed Captioning of Internet Protocol-Delivered Video Programming:
Implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010
, MB
Docket No. 11-154, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, FCC 11-138, 26 FCC Rcd 13734 (2011), available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-11-138A1.pdf.
323 47 U.S.C. § 613(c)(2)(B); 47 C.F.R. §§ 79.4(b)(1)-(3).
324 47 U.S.C. § 613(c)(2)(B); 47 C.F.R. § 79.4(b)(4). The time frame for adding captions will be reduced to
30 days on March 30, 2015, and to 15 days on March 30, 2016. 47 C.F.R. § 79.4(b)(4).
325 47 C.F.R. §§ 79.4(d) and (e).
46

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

·
Petition for Reconsideration. On April 27, 2012, TDI et al. filed a petition for
reconsideration, urging the Commission to require IP-delivered “video clips” to be
captioned.326 The Commission has sought comment on this petition, and it is
pending.327
·
Waiver Requests. On May 8, 2012, the Digital Media Association (DiMA) requested
the following waivers until January 1, 2014: (1) a waiver from the requirement that
applications, plug-ins, or devices provided by video programming distributors and
providers comply with the user configuration and caption formatting requirements;
and (2) for video programming distributors that do not currently provide closed
captioning, a waiver from the requirement to “render” captions.328 On August 17,
2012, the Commission granted DiMA’s first request and denied the second request
for waiver.329
114.
Exemptions Based on Economic Burden. Section 202(c) of the CVAA amends
Section 713(d) of the Communications Act by replacing the term “undue burden” with the term
“economically burdensome” as the standard by which the Commission is to assess requests for
exemptions from the closed captioning requirements.330 On October 20, 2011, the Commission
provided provisional guidance on how to interpret this statutory change and sought comment on a
proposal to use the “undue burden” factors contained in Section 713(e) of the Communications


326 Petition of Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc., National Association of the
Deaf, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Consumer Advocacy Network, Association of Late-Deafened Adults,
Hearing Loss Association of America, Cerebral Palsy and Deaf Organization, and the Technology Access
Program at Gallaudet University (TDI et al.) for Reconsideration, MB Docket No. 11-154 (filed Apr. 27,
2012), available at http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7021914512.
327 Petitions for Reconsideration of Action in Rulemaking Proceeding, Report No. 2951, Public Notice,
released May 17, 2012, available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-
314131A1.pdf.
328 DiMA Petition for Temporary Partial Exemption or Limited Waiver, MB Docket No. 11-154 (filed May
8, 2012), available at http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7021917009; DiMA Petition for
Temporary Partial Exemption or Limited Waiver from the Provisions of Section 79.4(c)(2)(i) Relating to
the Rendering of Captions, Including to the Applications, Plug-ins, or Devices Provided by a VPD, MB
Docket No. 11-154 (filed May 8, 2012), available at
http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7021917008. “Rendering” involves decoding the closed
captions for display, and “passing through” captions involves making the closed captions available to
someone further down the distribution or processing chain to decode for display. See IP Closed Captioning
Order
, 27 FCC Rcd at 805-6, ¶ 27.
329 Closed Captioning of Internet Protocol-Delivered Video Programming: Implementation of the Twenty-
First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Petitions for Temporary Partial
Exemption or Limited Waiver
, MB Docket No. 11-154, Memorandum Opinion and Order, DA 12-1354, 27
FCC Rcd 9630 (MB 2012), available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-12-
1354A1.pdf.
330 CVAA, § 202(c), amending 47 U.S.C. § 613(d)(3). The CVAA also codified existing Commission
policy that, during the pendency of an exemption petition, a provider or owner shall be exempt from having
to provide closed captioning. Id. See also 47 C.F.R. § 79.1(f)(11). Congress also directed the Commission
to act upon such an exemption petition within six months after receipt, unless the Commission finds that an
extension of this period is necessary to determine whether the captioning requirements are economically
burdensome. See CVAA, § 202(c), amending 47 U.S.C. § 613(d)(3).
47

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

Act when evaluating individual exemption petitions based on “economic burden.”331 On July 20,
2012, the Commission adopted its proposal to interpret the term “economically burdensome” in
Section 713(d)(3) using the same factors previously used to interpret the term “undue burden” as
defined in Section 713(e) of the Communications Act.332 This interpretation is consistent with the
manner in which the Commission defined the term “economically burdensome” in the
Commission’s reinstated video description rules333 and in the Commission’s rules governing
closed captioning of IP-delivered video programming,334 both of which were adopted pursuant to
the CVAA. The Commission also amended its existing closed captioning rules to replace all
current references to “undue burden” with the term “economically burdensome,” to conform the
rules to the new language in the CVAA.335

H.

Section 203. Closed captioning decoder and video description capability.

115.
Section 203 of the CVAA amends the Communications Act to update
requirements for apparatus that receive, play back, or record video programming to be compatible
with closed captioning, video description, and accessible emergency information so that these
features and services reach viewers.336
116.
Apparatus – Closed Captioning Compatibility. Section 203(a) of the CVAA
amends Section 303(u) of the Communications Act to require, if technically feasible, that
apparatus designed to receive or play back video programming that uses a picture screen of any
size be equipped with built-in closed caption decoder circuitry or the capability to display closed
captioned video programming.337 Such apparatus that uses a picture screen that is less than 13
inches in size must meet these requirements only if they are achievable.338 Section 203(b) of the
CVAA adds Section 303(z) to the Communications Act to require that, if achievable, apparatus
designed to record video programming be able to render or the pass through closed captions, such
that viewers are able to activate and de-activate the closed captions as the video programming is


331 Anglers for Christ Ministries, Inc., New Beginning Ministries, Petitioners Identified in Appendix A,
Interpretation of Economically Burdensome Standard; Amendment of Section 79.1(f) of the Commission’s
Rules; Video Programming Accessibility
, CG Docket Nos. 06-181 and 11-175, Memorandum Opinion and
Order, Order, and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, FCC 11-159, 26 FCC Rcd 14941 (2011) (Interim
Standard Order
when referring to the Order portion, and NPRM when referring to the NPRM portion),
available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-11-159A1.pdf.
332 Interpretation of Economically Burdensome Standard; Amendment of Section 79.1(f) of the
Commission’s Rules; Video Programming Accessibility
, CG Docket No. 11-175, Report and Order, FCC 12-
83, 27 FCC 8831 (2012), available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-12-83A1.pdf.
333 Video Description Report and Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 11868, ¶ 44 (“[W]e intend to ‘use the same factors
as applied to the undue burden standard’ . . . to determine whether the rules are economically burdensome
(i.e., whether they impose significant difficulty or expense).”) (citation omitted).
334 IP Closed Captioning Order, 27 FCC Rcd at 826, ¶ 64 (“[W]e interpret the term ‘economically
burdensome’ in Section 713(d)(3) of the Communications Act, as amended by the CVAA, to be
synonymous with the term ‘undue burden’ as this section was originally drafted.”) (citation omitted).
335 47 C.F.R. §§ 79.1(d)(2) and 79.1(f)(1), (2), (3), (4), (10), and (11).
336 CVAA, § 203.
337 CVAA, § 203(a), amending 47 U.S.C. § 303(u)(1)(A).
338 CVAA, § 203(a), amending 47 U.S.C. § 303(u)(2)(A). “Achievable” means “with reasonable effort or
expense.” 47 U.S.C. § 617(g).
48

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

played back on a picture screen of any size.339 This section also addresses requirements for
interconnection mechanisms and standards for digital video source devices to permit or render the
display of closed captions.340 Section 203(d)(1) requires the Commission to adopt implementing
regulations for these provisions within six months after the first VPAAC report is submitted to
the Commission, or by January 13, 2012.341
117.
On January 13, 2012, within the deadline established by the CVAA, the
Commission released a report and order adopting rules implementing these provisions.342
·
Petitions for Reconsideration. The Commission has received three petitions for
reconsideration. The Commission has sought comment on these petitions, each of which
is pending.343
o TVGuardian, LLC, filed a petition for reconsideration on April 16, 2012, asking the
Commission to require video programming providers and distributors and digital
video source devices to pass through the closed captions data to the consumer
equipment, with the same quality, including timing, as received.344
o TDI et al. filed a petition on April 27, 2012, urging the Commission to impose
synchronization requirements on device manufacturers.345
o The Consumer Electronics Association filed a petition on April 30, 2012, urging the
Commission to apply the closed captioning rules only to apparatus with “video


339 CVAA, § 203(b), adding 47 U.S.C. § 303(z)(1).
340 CVAA, § 203(b), adding 47 U.S.C. § 303(z)(2).
341 CVAA, § 203(d)(1). The first VPAAC report was submitted to the Commission on July 13, 2011. See
Section III.F of this Report, supra.
342 Closed Captioning of Internet Protocol-Delivered Video Programming: Implementation of the Twenty-
First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010
, MB Docket No. 11-154, Report and
Order, FCC 12-9, 27 FCC Rcd 787 (2012) (IP Closed Captioning Order), available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-12-9A1.pdf. See also 47 C.F.R. §§ 79.103 and
79.104. The Commission also adopted rules to implement the CVAA provision requiring closed captioning
of video programming distributed using Internet protocol. See Section III.G of this Report, supra. A
notice of proposed rulemaking, released on September 19, 2011, preceded these rules. Closed Captioning
of Internet Protocol-Delivered Video Programming: Implementation of the Twenty-First Century
Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010
, MB Docket No. 11-154, Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking, FCC 11-138, 26 FCC Rcd 13734 (2011), available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-11-138A1.pdf.
343 Petitions for Reconsideration of Action in Rulemaking Proceeding, Report No. 2951, Public Notice,
released May 17, 2012, available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-
314131A1.pdf.
344 Petition of TVGuardian, LLC, for Reconsideration, MB Docket No. 11-154 (filed Apr. 16, 2012),
available at http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7021910648.
345 Petition of Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc., National Association of the
Deaf, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Consumer Advocacy Network, Association of Late-Deafened Adults,
Hearing Loss Association of America, Cerebral Palsy and Deaf Organization, and the Technology Access
Program at Gallaudet University (TDI et al.) for Reconsideration, MB Docket No. 11-154 (filed Apr. 27,
2012), available at http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7021914512.
49

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

programming” players, not to removable media players, and to clarify that the
compliance deadline refers to date of manufacture.346
118.
Apparatus – Video Description and Emergency Information Compatibility.
Section 203(a), which amends Section 303(u) of the Communications Act, requires, if technically
feasible, apparatus designed to receive or play back video programming that uses a picture screen
of any size to have the capability to decode and make available the transmission and delivery of
required video description services; and to have the capability to decode and make available
emergency information in a manner that is accessible to individuals who are blind or visually
impaired.347 Such apparatus that uses a picture screen that is less than 13 inches in size must meet
these requirements only if they are achievable.348 Section 203(b) of the CVAA, which adds
Section 303(z) to the Communications Act, requires that, if achievable, apparatus designed to
record video programming must enable the rendering or the pass through of video description
signals and emergency information, such that viewers are able to activate and de-activate those
functions as the video programming is played back on a picture screen of any size.349 This
section also addresses requirements for interconnection mechanisms and standards for digital
video source devices.350 Section 203(d)(2) requires the Commission to adopt implementing
regulations for these provisions within 18 months after the second VPAAC report is submitted to
the Commission, or by October 9, 2013.351
119.
On April 24, 2012, the Commission released a public notice seeking comment on
the second VPAAC report with respect to video description and accessible emergency
information, which will inform the Commission’s proceedings on these issues.352

I.

Section 204. User interfaces on digital apparatus.

120.
Section 204 of the CVAA establishes accessibility requirements for user
interfaces on digital apparatus designed to receive or play back video programming, including
video programming transmitted in digital format using IP.353 Section 204(a) adds Section 303(aa)


346 Petition of Consumer Electronics Association for Reconsideration, MB Docket No. 11-154 (filed Apr.
30, 2012), available at http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7021914799. See also 47 C.F.R. §§
79.103(a) and 79.104(a)(1) (applying the closed captioning requirements to equipment manufactured after
January 1, 2014, that receives, plays back, or records video programming).
347 CVAA, § 203(a), amending 47 U.S.C. §§ 303(u)(1)(B) and (C).
348 CVAA, § 203(a), amending 47 U.S.C. § 303(u)(2)(A).
349 CVAA, § 203(b), adding 47 U.S.C. § 303(z)(1).
350 CVAA, § 203(b), adding 47 U.S.C. § 303(z)(2).
351 CVAA, § 203(d)(2). The second VPAAC report was submitted to the Commission on April 9, 2012.
See Section III.F of this Report, supra.
352 Media Bureau and Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Seek Comment on Second VPAAC
Report: Video Description and Access to Emergency Information
, MB Docket No. 12-107, Public Notice,
DA 12-636, 27 FCC Rcd 4195, released April 24, 2012, available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-12-636A1.pdf. See also Section III.F of this
Report, supra.
353 CVAA, § 204. The term “apparatus” does not include a navigation device (set-top box) as defined in 47
C.F.R. § 76.1200. 47 U.S.C. § 303(aa)(4). See Section III.J of this Report, infra, describing accessibility
requirements for navigation devices.
50

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

to the Communications Act to require, if achievable, that such apparatus be designed, developed,
and fabricated so that control of appropriate built-in apparatus functions are accessible to and
usable by individuals who are blind or visually impaired, including real-time audio output for on-
screen text menus or other visual indicators used to access those functions.354 This section also
mandates access to closed captioning and video description features through the use of a
mechanism that is reasonably comparable to a button, key, or icon designated for activating such
features.355 Section 204(b) requires the Commission to adopt implementing regulations for these
provisions within 18 months after the second VPAAC report is submitted to the Commission, or
by October 9, 2013.356
121.
On April 24, 2012, the Commission released a public notice seeking comment on
the second VPAAC report with respect to user interfaces, which will inform the Commission’s
proceeding on this issue.357

J.

Section 205. Access to video programming guides and menus provided on
navigation devices.

122.
Section 205 of the CVAA establishes accessibility requirements for navigation
devices (set-top boxes).358 Section 205(a) adds Section 303(bb) to the Communications Act to
require, if achievable, on-screen text menus and guides provided by navigation devices for the
display or selection of multichannel video programming to be audibly accessible in real-time
upon request by individuals who are blind or visually impaired.359 This section also mandates
access to any built-in closed captioning capability through the use of a mechanism that is
reasonably comparable to a button, key, or icon designated for activating the closed captioning or
accessibility features.360 Section 205(b) requires the Commission to adopt implementing
regulations for these provisions within 18 months after the second VPAAC report is submitted to
the Commission, or by October 9, 2013.361


354 CVAA, § 204(a); 47 U.S.C. §§ 303(aa)(1) and (2).
355 47 U.S.C. § 303(aa)(3).
356 CVAA, § 204(b). The second VPAAC report was submitted to the Commission on April 9, 2012. See
Section III.F of this Report, supra.
357 Media Bureau and Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Seek Comment on Second VPAAC
Report: User Interfaces, and Video Programming Guides and Menus
, MB Docket No. 12-108, Public
Notice, DA 12-635, 27 FCC Rcd 4191, released April 24, 2012, available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-12-635A1.pdf. See also Section III.F of this
Report, supra.
358 CVAA, § 205. The term “navigation device” is as defined in 47 C.F.R. § 76.1200. See 47 U.S.C. §
303(bb)(1).
359 CVAA, § 205(a); 47 U.S.C. § 303(bb)(1).
360 47 U.S.C. § 303(bb)(2).
361 CVAA, § 204(b). The second VPAAC report was submitted to the Commission on April 9, 2012. See
Section III.F of this Report, supra.
51

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

123.
On April 24, 2012, the Commission released a public notice seeking comment on
the second VPAAC report with respect to video programming guides and menus provided on
navigation devices, which will inform the Commission’s proceeding on this issue.362

K.

Other Accessibility-Related Commission Activities

124.
In addition to implementation of the CVAA, the Commission has engaged in
various activities designed to expand the accessibility of new communications technologies.
These are described below.
125.
Accessibility and Innovation Initiative (A&I Initiative). The Commission’s A&I
Initiative promotes collaborative problem solving among industry, consumers, and government
stakeholders so that people with disabilities are able to reap the full benefit of broadband
communication technologies.363 FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski launched the A&I Initiative
on July 19, 2010, during activities commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA). The A&I Initiative seeks greater involvement from the public in
identifying and solving accessibility barriers, and uses new media technologies to facilitate
transparent ways of sharing information and working together to develop innovative accessibility
solutions. Some of the activities in which the A&I Initiative has engaged since the enactment of
the CVAA include the following:
·
Visionary Challenge on Cloud Computing. In October 2010, the FCC launched a
challenge on challenge.gov called “Lifted by the Cloud: Visions of Cloud-Enhanced
Accessibility.” This challenge sought multimedia presentations – typically short
videos – to show how accessibility may be increased using advances in the
communication and computing power of the Internet. The Coleman Institute for
Cognitive Disabilities and an international consortium called “Raising the Floor”
cosponsored the challenge. About a dozen submissions, posted at
http://liftedbythecloud.challenge.gov/, were received by the deadline on May 15,
2011. Winners of this challenge were AT&T Speech Mashups for Accessibility and
The Farfalla Project.
·
Developer Day. In November 2010, the Commission’s A&I Initiative combined
forces with the Commission’s new media team to host an event called “Open
Developer Day.” Developers and consumers were invited to collaborate on web-
related projects that use data sets made available by the Commission and other
agencies. The challenge was to help design and build a clearinghouse of information
about accessible technologies.364
·
2011 CSUN Conference. In March 2011, staff of the A&I Initiative attended the
26th Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference,


362 Media Bureau and Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Seek Comment on Second VPAAC
Report: User Interfaces, and Video Programming Guides and Menus
, MB Docket No. 12-108, Public
Notice, DA 12-635, 27 FCC Rcd 4191, released April 24, 2012, available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-12-635A1.pdf. See also Section III.F of this
Report, supra.
363 For more information about the A&I Initiative, visit
http://www.broadband.gov/accessibilityandinnovation/.
364 See Section III.C of this Report, supra, for more information about the accessibility clearinghouse.
52

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

associated with the California State University in Northridge (CSUN). This is the
largest annual conference on technology and disability in the United States, attended
by approximately 5,000 people. Commission staff held a town hall meeting and gave
various presentations on the CVAA at this event.
·
Chairman’s Awards for Advancements in Accessibility (AAA)/Technology Expo.
On October 28, 2011, the Chairman’s AAA recognized 13 outstanding technological
efforts in the private and public sector to advance communications accessibility.365 In
conjunction with the Chairman’s AAA event, the A&I Initiative also hosted a
Technology Expo through November 2011 in the Commission’s Technology
Experience Center to display the technologies of the Chairman’s AAA winners and
other cutting edge technologies that provide access to persons with disabilities.
·
Developing with Accessibility. On September 6-7, 2012, the A&I Initiative hosted a
two-day developer training and collaboration event, called “Developing with
Accessibility,” designed to spur increased partnership and cooperation on
accessibility solutions among developers from industry, consumer, government
sectors, and academia. The event encouraged the use of accessibility application
programming interfaces (APIs), as well as publicly available data sets, to build
accessible apps for mobile phones and websites.
126.
M-Enabling Summit. In December 2011, the Commission partnered with the
Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ict) to hold the
first international conference on mobile applications for seniors and persons with disabilities.
G3ict is a public-private partnership dedicated to facilitating the international implementation of
the Digital Accessibility Agenda defined by the Convention on the Rights of Persons with
Disabilities. Speakers included a representative from the White House, Dr Hamadoun Touré,
Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union, FCC Chairman Julius
Genachowski; and international leaders from the communications industry and the disability
community. In attendance were 377 attendees representing 32 countries. On June 7, 2012, the
Commission and the G3ict held a high level half-day briefing session to discuss the key findings
of the M-Enabling Summit, including industry, market and regulatory trends, and to launch an
international M-Enabling conference tour, to take place in 2012-13.
127.
Broadband Adoption and Persons with Disabilities Inquiry Workshop. Also in
December 2011, the Commission and the Wireless Internet Institute (W2i) co-hosted an
international inquiry on broadband and people with disabilities. This event gathered the latest
available research from the United States and abroad on broadband adoption and persons with
disabilities, identified common barriers to broadband adoption by people with disabilities,
reviewed the broadband plans of various countries and how they have integrated people with
disabilities, and considered innovative approaches to connect people with disabilities and
broadband.


365 See FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski Joins Commissioner Michael Copps to Honor Innovators in
Accessibility Communications Technologies
, October 28, 2011, available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-310717A1.pdf.
53

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Kris Anne Monteith
Acting Chief, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau
54

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

APPENDIX A

List of Commenters

(CG Docket No. 10-213)
This is a list of parties who filed comments in the following proceedings. The complete record in
this proceeding is available in the Commission’s Electronic Comment Filing System located at
http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs/.

Comments:

Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Seeks Comment on the Accessibility of
Communications Technologies for the First Biennial Report Under the Twenty-First Century
Communications and Video Accessibility Act
, CG Docket No. 10-213, Public Notice, DA 12-
1125, 27 FCC Rcd 7693, released July 12, 2012 (CVAA Assessment PN), available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-12-1125A1.pdf.

Commenter

ACB
American Council of the Blind
AFB
American Foundation for the Blind
CEA
Consumer Electronics Association
CTIA
CTIA-The Wireless Association
HLAA
Hearing Loss Association of America
Consumer Groups
Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc.;
National Association of the Deaf; Association of Late-Deafened
Adults, Inc.; Deaf and Hard of Hearing Consumer Advocacy
Network; Cerebral Palsy and Deaf Organization; and the
Technology Access Program at Gallaudet University366
TIA
Telecommunications Industry Association

Comments on Tentative Findings:

Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Seeks Comment on its Tentative Findings About the
Accessibility of Communications Technologies for the First Biennial Report Under the Twenty-
First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act
, CG Docket No. 10-213, Public
Notice, DA 12-1391, 27 FCC Rcd ___, released August 22, 2012 (CVAA Tentative Findings PN),
available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-12-1391A1.pdf.

Abbreviation

Commenter

CEA
Consumer Electronics Association
DBTT
DeafBlind Think Tank367


366 Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc., is the filer of record; comments filed July
25, 2012; corrected copy filed July 26, 2012.
367 Randall Pope is the filer of record.
55

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

NFB
National Federation of the Blind368
Consumer Groups
Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc.;
National Association of the Deaf; Association of Late-Deafened
Adults, Inc.; Deaf and Hard of Hearing Consumer Advocacy
Network; Cerebral Palsy and Deaf Organization; Technology
Access Program at Gallaudet University; and Hearing Loss
Association of America369
TIA
Telecommunications Industry Association
René Pellerin


368 NFB comments were filed on September 7, 2012, one day past the comment due date.
369 Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc., is the filer of record.
56

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

APPENDIX B

Commission Actions to Implement the CVAA

370

Section 102. Hearing aid compatibility.

Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Requests that Comments in Hearing Aid Compatibility
Proceeding Address Effects of New Legislation
, WT Docket No. 07-250, Public Notice, DA 10-
1936, 25 FCC 14280, released October 12, 2010, available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-10-1936A1.pdf.
Comment Sought on 2010 Review of Hearing Aid Compatibility Regulations, WT Docket No. 10-
254, Public Notice, DA 10-2388, 25 FCC Rcd 17566, released December 28, 2010, available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-10-2388A1.pdf.
Amendment of the Commission’s Rules Governing Hearing Aid-Compatible Mobile Handsets,
WT Docket No. 07-250, Third Report and Order, DA 12-550, 27 FCC Rcd 3732 (WTB/OET
2012) (HAC Third Report and Order), available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-12-550A1.pdf.

Section 103. Relay services.

Contributions to the Telecommunications Relay Services Fund, CG Docket No. 11-47,
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, FCC 11-38, 26 FCC Rcd 3285 (2011) (TRS
Contribution NPRM
), available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-11-38A1.pdf.
Contributions to the Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) Fund, CG Docket No. 11-
47, Report and Order, FCC 11-150, 26 FCC Rcd 14532 (2011) (TRS Contribution Report
and Order
), available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-11-
150A1.pdf.

Section 104. Access to advanced communications services and equipment.

Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau and Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Seek
Comment on Advanced Communication Provisions of the Twenty-First Century Communications
and Video Accessibility Act of 2010
, CG Docket No. 10-213, Public Notice, DA 10-2029, 25 FCC
Rcd 14589, released October 21, 2010 (ACS PN), available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-10-2029A1.pdf.
Implementation of Sections 716 and 717 of the Communications Act of 1934, as Enacted by the
Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010; Amendments to the
Commission’s Rules Implementing Sections 255 and 251(a)(2) of the Communications Act of
1934, as Enacted by the Telecommunications Act of 1996; and In the Matter of Accessible Mobile
Phone Options for People who are Blind, Deaf-Blind, or Have Low Vision
, CG Docket Nos. 10-
213 and 10-145, WT Docket No. 96-198, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, FCC 11-37, 26 FCC


370 This list of Commission actions excludes public notices that announce scheduled meetings, upcoming
events, or pleading cycles for comments and reply comments. See Appendix C for a list of CVAA-related
Commission news releases.
57

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

Rcd 3133 (2011) (ACS NPRM), available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-11-37A1.pdf.
Implementation of Sections 716 and 717 of the Communications Act of 1934, as Enacted
by the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010;
Amendments to the Commission’s Rules Implementing Sections 255 and 251(a)(2) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as Enacted by the Telecommunications Act of 1996; and In
the Matter of Accessible Mobile Phone Options for People who are Blind, Deaf-Blind, or
Have Low Vision
, CG Docket Nos. 10-213 and 10-145, WT Docket No. 96-198, Report
and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, FCC 11-151, 26 FCC Rcd 14557
(2011) (ACS Report and Order and ACS FNPRM), available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-11-151A1.pdf.
Request for Comment: Petition for Class Waiver of Commission’s Rules for Access to Advanced
Communications Services and Equipment by People with Disabilities
; CG Docket No. 10-213,
Public Notice, DA 12-759, 27 FCC Rcd 5202, released May 15, 2012 (Consumer Electronics
Association petition for waiver), available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-12-759A1.pdf.
Request for Comment: Petition for Class Waiver of Commission's Rules for Access to Advanced
Communications Services and Equipment by People with Disabilities
, CG Docket No. 10-213,
Public Notice, DA 12-760, 27 FCC Rcd 5204, released May 15, 2012 (Entertainment Software
Association petition for waiver), available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-12-760A1.pdf.
Request for Comment: Petition for Class Waiver of Commission’s Rules for Access to Advanced
Communications Services and Equipment by People with Disabilities
, CG Docket No. 10-213,
Public Notice, DA 12-984, 27 FCC Rcd 7101, released June 21, 2012 (National Cable &
Telecommunications Association petition for waiver), available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-12-984A1.pdf.

Section 105. National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program.

Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Seeks Comment on Implementation of Requirement
to Define Programs for Distribution of Specialized Customer Premises Equipment Used by
Individuals who are Deaf-Blind
, CG Docket No. 10-210, Public Notice, DA 10-2112, 25 FCC
Rcd 15288, released November 3, 2010 (NDBEDP PN), available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-10-2112A1.pdf.
Implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010,
Section 105, Relay Services for Deaf-Blind Individuals
, CG Docket No. 10-210, Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking, FCC 11-3, 26 FCC Rcd 688 (2011) (NDBEDP NPRM), available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-11-3A1.pdf.
Implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act
of 2010, Section 105, Relay Services for Deaf-Blind Individuals
, CG Docket No. 10-210,
Report and Order, FCC 11-56, 26 FCC Rcd 5640 (2011) (NDBEDP Pilot Order),
available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-11-56A1.pdf.
FCC Announces 60-Day Period to Apply for Certification to Participate in the National Deaf-
Blind Equipment Distribution Program
, CG Docket No. 10-210, Public Notice, DA 11-1591, 26
58

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

FCC Rcd 13118, released September 22, 2011, available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-11-1591A1.pdf.
FCC Invites Applicants to Conduct National Outreach for the National Deaf-Blind Equipment
Distribution Program
, CG Docket No. 10-210, Public Notice, DA 11-1767, 26 FCC Rcd 14517,
released October 21, 2011, available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-
11-1767A1.pdf.
Perkins School for the Blind to Conduct National Outreach for the National Deaf-Blind
Equipment Distribution Program
. CG Docket No. 10-210, Public Notice, DA 12-910, 27 FCC
Rcd 6143, released June 8, 2012, available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-12-910A1.pdf.
Commission Announces Entities Certified to Participate in the National Deaf-Blind Equipment
Distribution Program
. CG Docket No. 10-210, Public Notice, DA 12-1050, 27 FCC Rcd 7397,
released July 2, 2012, available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-12-
1050A1.pdf.
Commission Announces Launch of the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program, CG
Docket No. 10-210, Public Notice, DA 12-1051, 27 FCC Rcd 7403, released July 2, 2012,
available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-12-1051A1.pdf.

Section 106. Emergency Access Advisory Committee.

FCC Requests Nominations for Membership on Emergency Access Advisory Committee in
Accordance with the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act,
Public
Notice, DA 10-2001, 25 FCC Rcd 14514, released October 19, 2010, available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-10-2001A1.pdf.
Emergency Access Advisory Committee Announcement of Members, Public Notice, DA 10-2318,
25 FCC Rcd 17084, released December 7, 2010, available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-10-2318A1.pdf.
Framework for Next Generation 911 Deployment, PS Docket No. 10-255, Notice of Inquiry, FCC
10-200, 25 FCC Rcd 17869 (2010), available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-10-200A1.pdf
EAAC, Report on Emergency Calling for Persons with Disabilities Survey Review and Analysis
2011
(EAAC Survey Report), July 21, 2011, available at
http://transition.fcc.gov/cgb/dro/EAAC/EAAC-REPORT.pdf.
Facilitating the Deployment of Text-to-911 and Other Next Generation 911 Applications;
Framework for Next Generation 911 Deployment
, PS Docket Nos. 11-153 and 10-255, Notice of
Proposed Rulemaking, FCC 11-134, 26 FCC Rcd 13615 (2011) (Text-to-911 NPRM), available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-11-134A1.pdf.
EAAC, Emergency Access Advisory Committee Report and Recommendations (EAAC Report and
Recommendations
), December 6, 2011, available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-312161A1.pdf.
59

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

Section 201. Video Programming Access Advisory Committee.

FCC Requests Nominations for Membership on Video Programming and Emergency Access
Advisory Committee in Accordance with the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video
Accessibility Act,
Public Notice, DA 10-2001, 25 FCC Rcd 14518, released October 19, 2010,
available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-10-2002A1.pdf.
Video Programming and Emergency Access Advisory Committee Announcement of Members,
Public Notice, DA 10-2320, 25 FCC Rcd 17094, released December 7, 2010, available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-10-2320A1.pdf.
VPAAC, First Report of the Video Programming Accessibility Advisory Committee on the
Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010: Closed Captioning
of Video Programming Delivered Using Internet Protocol
(VPAAC First Report), July 13, 2011,
available at http://transition.fcc.gov/cgb/dro/VPAAC/First_VPAAC_Report_to_the_FCC_7-11-
11_FINAL.pdf.
VPAAC, Second Report of the Video Programming Accessibility Advisory Committee on the
Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010
(VPAAC Second
Report
): (1) Video Description (Report on Video Description); (2) Access to Emergency
Information
(Report on Emergency Information); and (3) User Interfaces, and Video
Programming Guides and Menus
(Report on User Interfaces), April 9, 2012, available at
http://vpaac.wikispaces.com/home.
Media Bureau and Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Seek Comment on Second
VPAAC Report: User Interfaces, and Video Programming Guides and Menus
, MB Docket No.
12-108, Public Notice, DA 12-635, 27 FCC Rcd 4191, released April 24, 2012, available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-12-635A1.pdf.
Media Bureau and Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Seek Comment on Second
VPAAC Report: Video Description and Access to Emergency Information
, MB Docket No. 12-
107, Public Notice, DA 12-636, 27 FCC Rcd 4195, released April 24, 2012, available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-12-636A1.pdf.

Section 202. Video description and closed captioning.

Video Description


Video Description: Implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and
Video Accessibility Act of 2010
, MB Docket No. 11-43, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking,
FCC 11-36, 26 FCC Rcd 2975 (2011), available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-11-36A1_Rcd.pdf.
Video Description: Implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and
Video Accessibility Act of 2010
, MB Docket No. 11-43, Report and Order, FCC 11-126,
26 FCC Rcd 11847 (2011) (Video Description Report and Order), available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-11-126A1.pdf.
60

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

Closed Captioning on Video Programming Delivered Using Internet Protocol


Closed Captioning of Internet Protocol-Delivered Video Programming: Implementation of the
Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010
, MB Docket No. 11-
154, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, FCC 11-138, 26 FCC Rcd 13734 (2011), available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-11-138A1.pdf.
Closed Captioning of Internet Protocol-Delivered Video Programming: Implementation
of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010
, MB
Docket No. 11-154, Report and Order, FCC 12-9, 27 FCC Rcd 787 (2012) (IP Closed
Captioning Order
), available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-
12-9A1.pdf.
Media Bureau Action, Comment Dates Established for Two Petitions for Temporary Partial
Exemption or Limited Waiver of Certain Provisions of 47 C.F.R. § 79.4(c)(2)(i)
, MB Docket No.
11-154, Public Notice, DA 12-775, 27 FCC Rcd 5260, released May 16, 2012 (DiMA Public
Notice
), available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-12-775A1.pdf.
Petitions for Reconsideration of Action in Rulemaking Proceeding, Report No. 2951, Public
Notice, released May 17, 2012, available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-314131A1.pdf.
Closed Captioning of Internet Protocol-Delivered Video Programming: Implementation of the
Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Petitions for
Temporary Partial Exemption or Limited Waiver
, MB Docket No. 11-154, Memorandum
Opinion and Order, DA 12-1354, 27 FCC Rcd 9630 (MB 2012) (DiMA Waiver Order), available
at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-12-1354A1.pdf.

Exemptions Based on Economic Burden


Anglers for Christ Ministries, Inc., New Beginning Ministries, Petitioners Identified in Appendix
A, Interpretation of Economically Burdensome Standard; Amendment of Section 79.1(f) of the
Commission’s Rules; Video Programming Accessibility
, CG Docket Nos. 06-181 and 11-175,
Memorandum Opinion and Order, Order, and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, FCC 11-159, 26
FCC Rcd 14941 (2011) (Interim Standard Order and NPRM), available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-11-159A1.pdf.
Interpretation of Economically Burdensome Standard; Amendment of Section 79.1(f) of the
Commission’s Rules; Video Programming Accessibility
, CG Docket No. 11-175, Report and
Order, FCC 12-83, 27 FCC 8831 (2012), available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-12-83A1.pdf.

Section 203. Closed captioning decoder and video description capability.

Apparatus – Closed Captioning Compatibility

.
Closed Captioning of Internet Protocol-Delivered Video Programming: Implementation of the
Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010
, MB Docket No. 11-
154, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, FCC 11-138, 26 FCC Rcd 13734 (2011), available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-11-138A1.pdf.
61

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

Closed Captioning of Internet Protocol-Delivered Video Programming: Implementation of the
Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010
, MB Docket No. 11-
154, Report and Order, FCC 12-9, 27 FCC Rcd 787 (2012) (IP Closed Captioning Order),
available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-12-9A1.pdf.
Petitions for Reconsideration of Action in Rulemaking Proceeding, Report No. 2951, Public
Notice, released May 17, 2012, available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-314131A1.pdf.

Apparatus – Video Description and Emergency Information Compatibility

.
Media Bureau and Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Seek Comment on Second
VPAAC Report: Video Description and Access to Emergency Information
, MB Docket No. 12-
107, Public Notice, DA 12-636, 27 FCC Rcd 4195, released April 24, 2012, available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-12-636A1.pdf.

Section 204. User interfaces on digital apparatus.

Media Bureau and Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Seek Comment on Second
VPAAC Report: User Interfaces, and Video Programming Guides and Menus
, MB Docket No.
12-108, Public Notice, DA 12-635, 27 FCC Rcd 4191, released April 24, 2012, available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-12-635A1.pdf.

Section 205. Access to video programming guides and menus provided on navigation
devices.

Media Bureau and Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Seek Comment on Second
VPAAC Report: User Interfaces, and Video Programming Guides and Menus
, MB Docket No.
12-108, Public Notice, DA 12-635, 27 FCC Rcd 4191, released April 24, 2012, available at
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-12-635A1.pdf.
62

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

APPENDIX C

Commission Outreach and Education

Events

Conferences and events attended by individuals with disabilities, industry representatives,
members of the public, and other stakeholders at which Commission staff made presentations or
disseminated information about the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video
Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA), the Accessibility Clearinghouse, and consumer rights and
remedies available under Sections 255, 716, and 718 of the Communications Act.

Date(s)

Group Name (Type of Event)

Location

October 12, 2010
Georgetown University (conference on
District of Columbia
employment of people with disabilities)
October 18-20, 2010
National Association of State Relay
North Carolina
Administration (conference)
October 21, 2010
Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities, Colorado
University of Colorado (conference)
October 24-25, 2010
Connect Kansas (broadband summit)
Kansas
November 16, 2010
National Center for Technology Innovators
District of Columbia
(conference)
January 12, 2011
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
District of Columbia
Office of Emergency Communications
(meeting)
January 13, 2011
FCC’s CVAA Video Programming
District of Columbia
Accessibility Advisory Committee
(inaugural meeting)
January 25, 2011
Practising Law Institute (Broadband and
New York
Cable Industry Law conference)
February 28, 2011
American Council of the Blind (legislative
District of Columbia
seminar)
May 4, 2011
National Library Service for the Blind
District of Columbia
and Physically Handicapped (Northern
Conference)
March 9, 2011
National Association of Regulatory Utility
District of Columbia
Commissioners (biannual conference)
March 16-18, 2011
California State University Northridge
California
(CSUN) (international conference on
accessible technology)
May 11, 2011
U.S. Access Board (meeting)
District of Columbia
May 14, 2011
Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf Virginia
and Hard of Hearing Persons (“Celebrate
Communication” community event)
May 17, 2011
U.S. Coast Guard (agency instructional
District of Columbia
outreach session to employees)
June 2-4, 2011
Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard
Texas
of Hearing, Inc. (conference)
June 8, 2011
Deaf-Blind Young Adults in Action
District of Columbia
(mini-summit)
63

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

Date(s)

Group Name (Type of Event)

Location

June 10, 2011
Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Government
District of Columbia
(National Training Conference)
June 16, 2011
Hearing Loss Association of America
District of Columbia
(convention)
June 23, 2011
American Association of the Deaf-Blind
Kentucky
(symposium)
July 22, 2011
National Council on Disability (meeting)
District of Columbia
July 27, 2011
Alexander Graham Bell Association for the
District of Columbia
Deaf and Hard of Hearing (Leadership
Opportunities for Teens Program)
October 11, 2011
Federal Communications Bar Association
District of Columbia
(brown bag panel)
October 12-13, 2011
Content and Communications World
New York
(conference and expo)
October 19-21, 2011
National Association of State Relay
Utah (in-person and
Associations (conference)
remote presentations)
October 25, 2011
Telecommunications Equipment
(remote presentation)
Distribution Program Association
(conference)
November 4, 2011
National Captioning Institute (advisory
Virginia
board meeting)
November 8, 2011
U.S. Access Board (international
District of Columbia
information exchange of officials of the
European Commission of the European
Union)
November 18, 2011
Federal Communications Bar Association
District of Columbia
(continuing legal education seminar)
December 5-6, 2011
Global Initiative for Inclusive Information
District of Columbia
and Communication Technologies (G3ict)
and Maryland
and FCC (M-Enabling Summit)
December 7, 2011
Wireless Internet Institute (W2i) and FCC
District of Columbia
(Broadband Adoption and Persons with
Disabilities Inquiry Workshop)
January 10-13, 2012
Consumer Electronics Association
Nevada
(International Consumer Electronics Show)
January 31, 2012
Practising Law Institute (Broadband and
New York
Cable Industry Law conference)
February 1, 2012
Federal Communications Bar Association
District of Columbia
(Video Programming and Distribution
Committee continuing legal education
program)
February 5, 2012
National Association of Regulatory Utility
District of Columbia
Commissioners (biennial conference)
February 15, 2012
U.S. Department of State (meeting)
District of Columbia
February 27, 2012
American Council of the Blind (legislative
Virginia
seminar)
March 7, 2012
National Association of Attorneys General
District of Columbia
(meeting)
March 21, 2012
Seattle University (meeting)
District of Columbia
64

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

Date(s)

Group Name (Type of Event)

Location

March 27, 2012
NENA/The 9-1-1 Association (conference)
District of Columbia
April 16-19, 2012
National Association of Broadcasters (NAB Nevada
Show)
April 24, 2012
International Telecommunications Union
Geneva, Switzerland
Telecommunications Development Sector
(remote presentation)
(conference)
May 4, 2012
Sprint STARS Relay (conference)
South Carolina
(remote presentation)
May 5, 2012
Metro Washington Association of the Deaf-
Maryland
Blind (community gathering)
May 7, 2012
International Telecommunications Union
Geneva, Switzerland
Telecommunications Development Sector
(remote presentation)
(Study Group 16 meeting)
May 7, 2012
National Association of
(remote presentation)
Telecommunications Offices and Advisors
(webinar)
May 8, 2012
Advanced Television Systems Committee
District of Columbia
(conference)
May 9, 2012
CTIA-The Wireless Association
Louisiana
(conference)
May 12, 2012
Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf Virginia
and Hard of Hearing Persons (“Celebrate
Communication” community event)
May 21, 2012
Center for Advanced Communications
Georgia
Policy and Federal Communications Bar
Association (public policy luncheon series)
May 21-23, 2012
National Cable & Telecommunications
Massachusetts
Association (The Cable Show)
May 31, 2012
Federal Communications Bar Association
District of Columbia
(Enforcement Committee continuing legal
education program)
June 4, 2012
Global Initiative for Inclusive Information
District of Columbia
and Communication Technologies (G3ict)
and FCC (Inaugural Session of the 2012-13
M-Enabling Global Briefing Tour)
June 11-12, 2012
Deaf-Blind Camp of Maryland (workshop)
Maryland
June 14-15, 2012
FCC’s Intergovernmental Advisory
District of Columbia
Committee (meeting)
June 15, 2012
FCC’s Consumer Advisory Committee
District of Columbia
(meeting)
June 21-23, 2012
Hearing Loss Association of America
Rhode Island
(convention)
June 21-26, 2012
American Library Association (conference)
California
June 22, 2012
General Accounting Office (instructional
District of Columbia
seminar to GAO employees)
July 3-6, 2012
National Association of the Deaf
Kentucky
(conference)
July 7-10, 2012
National Council of La Raza (conference)
Nevada
65

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

Date(s)

Group Name (Type of Event)

Location

July 16, 2012
Association of Technical Assistance
District of Columbia
Programs (conference)
July 26, 2012
White House (ADA anniversary panel)
District of Columbia
August 1, 2012
Lighthouse for the Blind (meeting)
Washington
August 10, 2012
Danish Ministry of Social Affairs and
Copenhagen, Denmark
Integration (instructional seminar)
September 20-22, 2012
AARP (conference)
Louisiana

CVAA-related Commission News Releases

·
Statements on the Signing of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act
– October 8, 2010
Chairman Julius Genachowski:
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-302014A1.pdf
Commissioner Mignon L. Clyburn:
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-302017A1.pdf
·
FCC Seeks Nominations for Membership on Two Emergency Access Advisory Committees –
October 19, 2010
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-302254A1.pdf
·
FCC Partners with the Coleman Institute and Raising the Floor to Launch Cloud Computing
Challenge – October 21, 2010
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-302311A1.pdf
·
FCC to Hold Open Developer Day on November 8, 2010 – October 29, 2010
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-302510A1.pdf
·
FCC Implementation of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act –
November 30, 2010
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-303071A1.pdf
·
Membership in Two Disability-Focused Advisory Committees Announced; Transcript of
November 30 Presentation on Implementation of Accessibility Act Available Online –
December 7, 2010
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-303416A1.pdf
·
FCC Announces Open Internet Apps Challenge – January 5, 2011
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-303942A1.pdf
·
FCC Proposes to Update Rules Allowing Accessibility to Advanced Communications to 54
Million Consumers with Disabilities – March 3, 2011
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-304970A1.pdf
·
Emergency Access Advisory Committee Releases National Survey to Learn About
Emergency Calling by Individuals with Disabilities – March 16, 2011
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-305233A1.pdf
66

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

·
FCC Acts to Ensure That Deaf-Blind Individuals Have Access to 21st Century
Communications Technologies – April 6, 2011
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-305587A1.pdf
·
Two Reports of Advisory Committees on Disabilities Issues Released (Closed Captioning of
Video Programming Delivered Using Internet Protocol; and Emergency Calling for Persons
with Disabilities Survey Review and Analysis) – July 22, 2011
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-308551A1.pdf
·
FCC Takes Critical Steps to Bring Advanced Communications Services to Those with
Disabilities – October 7, 2011
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-310286A1.pdf
·
Technology for All Americans with Disabilities Economic Freedom, Jobs, and Civic
Participation Celebration & Awards Ceremony – October 17, 2011
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-310411A1.pdf
·
The Federal Communications Commission’s Emergency Access Advisory Committee
Announces Exhibitors for “Text-to-911” Exhibition Fair March 28 & 29, 2012 – March 26,
2012
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-313232A1.pdf
·
FCC’s Video Description Rules for Certain Broadcast Stations and Multichannel Video
Programming Distributors (MVPDs) Are Now in Effect – July 2, 2012
http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2012/db0702/DOC-314911A1.pdf
67

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-1602

APPENDIX D

CVAA Consumer Guides

Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010

HTML:
http://www.fcc.gov/guides/21st-century-communications-and-video-accessibility-act-2010
PDF:
http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/CVAA-access-act.pdf

National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program

HTML:
http://www.fcc.gov/guides/national-deaf-blind-equipment-distribution-program
PDF:
http://transition.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/NDBEDP.pdf

Video Description

HTML:
http://www.fcc.gov/guides/video-description
PDF:
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-314799A1.pdf

Captioning of Internet Video Programming

HTML:
http://www.fcc.gov/guides/captioning-internet-video-programming
PDF:
http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/captionsinternet.pdf

Display of Captioning on Equipment Used to View Video Programming

HTML:
http://www.fcc.gov/guides/display-captioning-equipment-used-view-video-programming
PDF:
http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/captionsequipment.pdf
68

Note: We are currently transitioning our documents into web compatible formats for easier reading. We have done our best to supply this content to you in a presentable form, but there may be some formatting issues while we improve the technology. The original version of the document is available as a PDF, Word Document, or as plain text.

close
FCC

You are leaving the FCC website

You are about to leave the FCC website and visit a third-party, non-governmental website that the FCC does not maintain or control. The FCC does not endorse any product or service, and is not responsible for, nor can it guarantee the validity or timeliness of the content on the page you are about to visit. Additionally, the privacy policies of this third-party page may differ from those of the FCC.