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FCC Commemorates 23rd Anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act

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Released: July 19, 2013

Federal Communications Commission

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Washington, D. C. 20554

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This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.
See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

July 19, 2013
Mike Snyder, 202-418-0997



Commission Highlights Milestones in Effort to Ensure Access by Americans with Disabilities to

Innovative Communications and Video Technologies

Washington, D.C.

In recognition of the 23rd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act
(ADA), the FCC today highlighted milestones in its efforts to bring the accessibility provisions of the
Communications Act into the digital age by implementing the Twenty-First Century Communications and
Video Accessibility Act (CVAA). Signed into law by President Obama on October 8, 2010, the CVAA
ensures that people with disabilities have equal access to Internet communication and video programming
technologies of the 21st century.
Milestones in the Commission's implementation of the CVAA include:


Access to Advanced Communications Services and Equipment

, such as text messaging and e-
mail; rules were adopted October 7, 2011, with full implementation by October 8, 2013.

Access to Web Browsers on Mobile Phones

by people who are blind or visually impaired; rules
were adopted April 26, 2013, and will be effective on October 8, 2013.

National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program

, supporting programs that distribute
communications equipment to low-income individuals who have both significant vision and
hearing loss; rules were adopted April 6, 2011, a pilot program was launched on July 1, 2012, and
hundreds of individuals have been served by the program to date.

Contributions by Non-Interconnected VoIP Providers to Telecommunications Relay Service

(TRS) Fund; rules were adopted October 7, 2011, and fully implemented by the 2012-13 TRS
Fund year.

Emergency Access Advisory Committee

; conducted a nationwide survey and submitted a report
in 2011 and additional reports in 2013; recommendations included actions needed for migration
to a national Internet protocol-enabled network, and to develop an interim, mobile text solution
that can be rapidly deployed to provide nationwide access to 9-1-1 services, including to those in
the disability community.

Video Programming

Video Programming Accessibility Advisory Committee

; submitted reports and
recommendations on captioning Internet-delivered video programming in 2011, and on video
description, accessibility of televised emergency information, and equipment accessibility
requirements in 2012.

Closed Captioning on Internet-Delivered Video Programming

; rules were adopted January
12, 2012, with a multi-year phase-in that began September 30, 2012 for programs to contain
captions; implementation required by January 1, 2014, for equipment to deliver and display

Video Description on Television

; rules were adopted August 24, 2011, which became effective
July 1, 2012, for programs to contain video description, and implementation required by May 26,
2015, for equipment to deliver video description.

Access to Televised Emergency Information

for people who are blind or visually impaired;
rules were adopted April 9, 2013, and will be fully implemented by May 26, 2015.

Video Equipment Accessibility

to ensure that user interfaces, guides, and menus for digital
apparatus and navigation devices are accessible; notice of proposed rulemaking was adopted May
30, 2013, and final rules are due October 9, 2013.
The FCC has moved aggressively to implement this landmark legislation. To date, it has met every
rulemaking deadline set by the CVAA and is committed to meeting the remaining deadlines. The FCC is
also committed to working with industry, consumers, and other stakeholders to address and resolve
disability-related accessibility issues.

More Online Resources

FCC Consumer Guide on the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility
The FCC's Accessibility Clearinghouse, a web-based repository of information about
accessibility solutions for telecommunications and advanced communications services and
The First FCC Biennial CVAA Report to Congress (October 5, 2012):

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