COMMISSIONER JESSICA ROSENWORCELRe:
Accessible Emergency Information, and Apparatus Requirements for Emergency
Information and Video Description: Implementation of the Twenty-First Century
Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, MB Docket No. 12-107; Video
Description: Implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video
Accessibility Act of 2010, MB Docket No. 11-43
Today the Commission takes another important step in implementing the groundbreaking
Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010.
When a tornado strikes, a chemical spill happens, or another disaster threatens,
broadcasters are often the first to provide critical information to the public. They break into
programming to broadcast warnings or run text crawls with important information during
television shows. This dedication to their local communities is to be applauded and supported.
But for the more than 21 million Americans who are blind or visually-impaired, access to
televised emergency information is frequently curtailed. When the aural tone signifying
emergency information is not followed with details accessible to this population, such
individuals must go in search of a radio or another alternative to learn about the details of an
event. We can and should do better for millions of people with disabilities in this country.
That is why I am pleased to support today's Report and Order and Further Notice of
Proposed Rulemaking, which requires that an aural presentation of emergency information that is
provided visually in non-newscast programming be made available on a secondary audio stream.
Americans who are blind or visually-impaired will be able to get access to and act upon
important information without delay. Going forward, as technology advances and consumers
access programming in new ways, we should make sure that public safety and access for people
with disabilities remain a priority.
As we continue to implement the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video
Accessibility Act of 2010, I look forward to working with all stakeholders to expand access to
communications technologies and opportunities across the nation. I appreciate the cooperation
and hard work of the providers and distributors of video programming and applaud the tireless
advocacy of the many champions in the disability community.
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