TCD helps to ensure that persons with disabilities have access to programming and communications products, services, and equipment, and that such products and services are usable to persons with visual, hearing, or speech impairments, including persons who are deaf-blind.

There are four key areas covered by TCD’s accessibility investigations:

  • Closed Captioning: ensuring that programming, is made accessible to persons who have hearing disabilities.
  • Access to Emergency Information: ensuring that persons with hearing and visual disabilities have access to emergency information.
  • Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS): ensuring that providers of Telecommunications Relay Services, e.g., Video Relay Service (VRS), Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS), are in compliance with the Commission’s rules and orders and are not engaging in practices that would result in waste, fraud, or abuse of the TRS Fund, the mechanism used to reimburse entities for the cost of providing such services.
  • 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA): ensuring that advanced communications services and products are accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities, including web browsers on mobile devices, captions are included on programming streamed over the Internet when such programming was previously shown with closed captions on tv, among other things.

Sections 225(e), 255, 613, and 618 of the Communications Act govern enforcement in this area. The rules in this area are found in Parts 6, 7, 14, 64, and 79 of the Commission’s rules.


Tuesday, December 20, 2022