In October 2023, the FCC adopted rules to require participating wireless providers to make available certain Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) in the thirteen most commonly spoken languages in the United States and in American Sign Language (ASL) in addition to English, and to allow consumers to opt-in to receive ASL WEA alerts.  

On February 15, 2024, the FCC released a Public Notice seeking comment on 18 different emergency message templates in 13 languages and ASL.  With regard to the video messages signed in ASL, the Bureau seeks comment on the effectiveness of the ASL videos as well as the format and production of the ASL videos.  The proposed templates for ASL are not final and are presented solely for the purpose of seeking comment on what the final templates should be. The Public Notice also seeks comment on support for form-fillable templates that would include information specific to the particular emergency, as well as whether participating wireless providers’ device offerings should support templates in additional languages.   

The comment dates will be announced after the Public Notice is published in the Federal Register, and an AccessInfo will announce these dates when available.

Interested parties may file comments by accessing the Electronic Comment Filing System at https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filings.  All filings must reference PS Docket Nos. 15-91 and 15-94.  People with disabilities who need assistance to file comments online may request assistance by email to FCC504@fcc.gov.   

Link to the October 2023 WEA Report and Order:

URL: https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-adopts-rules-improve-accessibility-wireless-emergency-alerts  

Link to the February 15, 2024 Public Notice: 

URL:  https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-seeks-comment-multilingual-wireless-emergency-alerts  

For information regarding WEA accessibility, visit https://www.fcc.gov/wea-accessibility.  For specific information regarding the multilingual alert Public Notice, contact Joshua Gehret, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau at (202) 418-7816 or Joshua.Gehret@fcc.gov.  Individuals who use videophones and are fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) may call the FCC’s ASL Consumer Support Line at (844) 432-2275 (videophone).

 

 

 

Updated:
Thursday, February 15, 2024