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Video Description

Video description is audio-narrated descriptions of a television program's key visual elements. These descriptions are inserted into natural pauses in the program's dialogue. Video description makes television programming more accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired.

Consumer Guide: PDF || HTML

Video Description Rules: 47 C.F.R. ┬ž 79.3

Links to Related Information:

Consumer Organizations

  • American Council of the Blind: Audio Description Project
  • American Foundation for the Blind: Described TV Listings (an online search tool to generate a list of described television programs by entering your zip code, then selecting a service provider, date, and start time)
  • National Federation of the Blind: NFB-NEWSLINE┬« Television Listings
  • Broadcast Networks

  • CBS list of described programs, schedule of describe programs
  • Fox schedule of described programs
  • Non-Broadcast Networks

  • Disney Channel schedule of described programs
  • Nickelodeon schedule of described programs
  • USA schedule of described programs: call (212) 664-7010
  • Subscription TV Providers

  • AT&T U-Verse configuring video description
  • Comcast and XFINITY video description services
  • Cox Communications configuring video description
  • Direct TV secondary audio programming
  • FCC Documents:

    3-6-15 Video Description: Implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010. Action by: Media Bureau. Adopted: 3/6/15 by Order and Public Notice. (MB Docket No. 11-43) (DA 15-295).
    Order and Public Notice: Word || PDF

    6-30-14 Video Description: Implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010. Action by: Media Bureau. Adopted: 6/30/2014 by Report. (MB Docket No. 11-43) (DA 14-945).
    Report: Word || PDF

    2-6-14 Pleading Cycle Established for Oppositions and Replies to the Petition for Reconsideration of the User Interfaces Order.
    (MB Docket Nos. 12-107 and 12-108) (DA 14-159).
    Public Notice announcing the deadline for oppositions and replies: Word || PDF
    Public Notice announcing the filing of the Petition for Reconsideration: Word || PDF

    12-20-13 Notice of Effective Date of New Accessible User Interfaces Rules and Announcement of Comment and Reply Comment Deadlines for Related Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.
    (MB Docket Nos. 12-108 and 12-107) (DA 13-2439).
    Public Notice: Word || PDF

    10-31-13 Accessibility of User Interfaces, and Video Programming Guides and Menus. Action by: the Commission. Adopted: 10/29/13 by R&O/FNPRM. (MB Docket Nos. 12-108 and 12-107) (FCC 13-138).
    Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulmaking: Word || PDF
    Acting Chairwoman Clyburn Statement: Word || PDF
    Commissioner Rosenworcel Statement: Word || PDF
    Commissioner Pai Statement: Word || PDF

    6-25-13 Media Bureau Seeks Comment on Video Description in Video Programming Distributed on Television and on the Internet. (MB Docket No. 11-43) (DA 13-1438).
    Public Notice: Word || PDF

    6-18-13 Media Bureau Announces Comment and Reply Comment Deadlines for the NPRM Regarding Accessibility of User Interfaces and Video Programming Guides/Menus and Establishes Schedule for Ex Parte Meetings. (MB Docket No. 12-108) (DA 13-1398).
    Public Notice: Word || PDF

    5-30-13 Accessibility of User Interfaces, and Video Programming Guides and Menus. FCC Seeks comment on implementation of Sections 204 and 205 of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA). (MB Docket No. 12-108) (FCC 13-77).
    NPRM: Word || PDF
    Commissioner Ajit Pai Statement: Word || PDF

    4-9-13 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. Adopted rules requiring that emergency information provided in video programming be made accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired and that certain apparatus be capable of delivering video description and emergency information. (Dkt No. 11-43 12-107 ). Action by: the Commission. Adopted: 04/08/2013 by R&O/FNPRM. (FCC No. 13-45). MB
    Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Word || PDF
    Commissioner Clyburn Statement: Word || PDF
    Commissioner Rosenworcel Statement: Word || PDF
    Commissioner Pai Statement: Word || PDF

    12-7-12 In the Matter of 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. DA 12-1985. Docket Number 12-107.
    Order: Word || PDF

    11-28-12 Media Bureau Announces Comment and Reply Comment Deadlines for the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Regarding Accessible Emergency Information and Apparatus Requirements for Emergency Information and Video Description. DA 12-1908. Docket No. 12-107.
    Public Notice: Word || PDF

    11-19-12 In the Matter of 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. Seeks comment on implementing provisions of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 pertaining to accessible emergency information, and apparatus requirements for emergency information and video description. Docket No. 12-107. FCC 12-142.
    Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Word || PDF

    7-2-12 FCC's Video Description Rules for Certain Broadcast Stations and Multichannel Video Programming Distributors (MVPDs) Are Now in Effect.
    News Release: Word || PDF

    4-30-12 Media Bureau and Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau seek comment on second VPAAC report: Video Description and Access to Emergency Information; User Interfaces, and Video Programming Guides and Menus. Extended the deadlines for filing comments and reply comments in these proceedings. Docket Numbers 12-108 and 12-107. DA 12-682.
    Order: Word || PDF

    4-24-12 Media Bureau and Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau seek comment on second VPAAC report: Video Description and Access to Emergency Information. DA 12-636. Docket No. 12-107.
    Public Notice: Word || PDF

    3-23-11 Video Description: Implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010. Granted the Motion for Extension of Time. MB Docket No. 11-43.
    Order: Word || PDF

    3-3-11 Video Description: Implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010. (FCC 11-36) MB Docket No. 11-43.
    NPRM: Word || PDF
    Erratum issued 3-11-11: Word || PDF

    Updated: June 16, 2015
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