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FCC to Hold Town Hall Meeting in San Diego on 21st Century Accessibility Act

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Released: March 4, 2011


Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

445 12th St., S.W.


TTY: 1-888-835-5322

Washington, D.C. 20554

DA 11-428
Released: March 4, 2011


The Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Programming Accessibility Act

Washington, D.C. On March 17, 2011, the Federal Communications Commission will host a
town hall at the 26th Annual International Technology & Persons with Disabilities Conference, hosted by
the California State University at Northridge (CSUN). The town hall is one of many steps that the
Commission is taking to obtain public feedback as it implements the Twenty-First Century
Communications and Video Programming Accessibility Act (CVAA or the Act), signed by President
Obama on October 8, 2010.
The CVAA is landmark disability legislation, designed to ensure that people with disabilities
have access to emerging twenty-first century communications and video programming technologies. The
CVAA, which enacted many recommendations of the National Broadband Plan, will ensure access to
advanced communications equipment and services, expand the availability of hearing aid compatible
telephones used with those services, enhance the scope of and contributions to the nation's
telecommunications relay services, and create an equipment distribution program for people who are
deaf-blind. In addition, the law will fill accessibility gaps in video programming through the provision of
video description on television and closed captioning on television programming re-shown on the
Internet, ensure the accessibility of video programming devices, and require televised emergency
programming to be accessible by people who are blind or visually impaired. As it works through its
implementation of the CVAA, the Commission is collaborating closely with consumer and industry
stakeholders through two mandated advisory committees.
The Town Hall meeting at CSUN will begin with an orientation to the CVAA that will focus on
what the CVAA means to consumers with disabilities. The FCC will then conduct an open dialogue on
the Act's provisions, providing an opportunity for attendees to express their opinions on ways the FCC
can best implement the CVAA. For purposes of the Commission's ex parte rules regarding permit-but-
disclose proceedings (47 C.F.R. 1.1206(b) (2)), any comments made at the Town Hall on the
implementation of the CVAA that pertain to the Act's provisions on advanced communications services,
video description, the deaf-blind equipment distribution program, and TRS contributions by VoIP providers,
will be deemed oral ex parte presentations in the pending rulemaking proceedings to which they relate. A
written transcript of the Town Hall meeting (captured from computer-aided real-time transcription) will be
placed in the dockets of the relevant proceedings to comply with the disclosure requirements of the ex parte
The Town Hall meeting is scheduled from 9:20 a.m. to 11:40 a.m. on Thursday, March 17, 2011,
at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel, One Market Place, San Diego, CA 92101 in room "H-I." The event
is free and open to the public. The conference room is limited to 299 persons. Pre-registration is
recommended, but not required. If you chose to pre-register, please send an e-mail to The Town Hall meeting will have sign language interpreters and
CART. The meeting will also be video-taped and posted on the CSUN conference website.

For questions or inquiries about the conference, please contact Pam Gregory, 202-418-2498, or Mikelle Morra, 202-418-7151,
- FCC -

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