To implement the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA), the FCC expanded the closed captioning display requirements for equipment that receives, plays back, or records video programming. 

Related Topics

Rules

  • 47 CFR § 79.101 – Closed caption decoder requirements for analog television receivers  
  • 47 CFR § 79.102 – Closed caption decoder requirements for digital television receivers and converter boxes  
  • 47 CFR § 79.103 – Closed caption decoder requirements for apparatus (including required display characteristics, such as background colors and font styles, colors, and sizes) 
  • 47 CFR § 79.104 – Closed caption decoder requirements for recording devices 

Consumer Guides

Small Entity Compliance Guide

Filing a Complaint with the FCC

Complaints about the display of closed captioning by equipment that receives, plays back, or records video programming may be submitted to the FCC by phone or mail:

  • Phone: 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322)
  • TTY: 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322)
  • American Sign Language (ASL) Consumer Support Line: 1-844-432-2275 (videophone)
  • Mail:

            Federal Communications Commission
            Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau
            Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division
            445 12th Street, SW
            Washington, DC 20554

Please include your name, address, contact information, and as much detail about your complaint as possible. If you need assistance filing a complaint, please contact the FCC's Disability Rights Office at dro@fcc.gov or by calling 202-418-2517 (voice), 1-888-835-5322 (TTY), or 1-844-432-2275 (videophone).

Orders, Public Notices, and Press Releases

11-20-15

Commission Adopts User Interfaces Accessibility Item, Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. (MB Docket No. 12-108) (FCC 15-156) (seeking comment on proposed rules to require manufacturers and MVPDs to ensure that consumers are able to readily access user display settings for closed captioning under the Television Decoder Circuitry Act of 1990).
2nd R&O, Order on Recon, 2nd FNPRM: Word || PDF
Commissioner Pai Statement: Word || PDF

6-14-13

Closed Captioning of Internet Protocol-Delivered Video Programming: Implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA), Order on Reconsideration, Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. (MB Docket No. 11-154) (FCC 13-84) (among other things, clarifying apparatus closed captioning rules, seeking comment on apparatus synchronization problems, and extending compliance deadline for certain DVD players and Blu-ray devices).
Order on Reconsideration and FNPRM: Word || PDF
Commissioner Ajit Pai Statement: Word || PDF

8-17-12

In the Matter of 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 filed by the Digital Media Association (DiMA). (MB Docket No. 11-154, DA 12-1354) (waiving requirements for applications, plug-ins, or devices provided by video programming distributors and providers (VPDs) to comply with user configuration requirements until 2014; declining to waive rules requiring VPD-distributed devices to pass through or render closed captions).
Memorandum Opinion and Order: Word || PDF

1-13-12

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) (FCC 12-9).
Report & Order: Word || PDF
McDowell Statement: Word || PDF
Clyburn Statement: Word || PDF
Erratum: Word || PDF

7-31-00

Closed Captioning Requirements for Digital Television Receivers; Closed Captioning and Video Description of Video Programming, Implementation of Section 305 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Video Programming Accessibility Report and Order adopted July 21, 2000 and Released July 31, 2000.
Report and Order: Word || PDF

7-21-00
FCC Adopts Technical Standards for Display of Closed Captioning on Digital Television Receivers.
News Release on DTV Closed Captioning released July 21, 2000.

7-19-99
Closed Captioning Requirements for Digital Television Receivers, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 14 FCC Rcd 16697 (1999).
Word || PDF

3-22-95
Closed Captioning Requirements for Computer Systems Used as Television Receivers, Public Notice, DA 95-581, 60 Fed. Reg. 16055 (March 29, 1995).
Public Notice: Word || PDF

4-15-91
Amendment of Part 15 of the Commission’s Rules to Implement the Provisions of the Television Decoder Circuitry Act of 1990, Report and Order, recon. granted in part, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 7 FCC Rcd 2279 (1992) (https://www.fcc.gov/document/amendment-part-15-commissions-rules-impleme...).

Updated: 
Tuesday, March 27, 2018