On February 23, 2023, the FCC announced a tentative agenda for the Open Commission Meeting scheduled for 10:30 am EST on Thursday, March 16, 2023.  The meeting will be held in the Commission Meeting Room, 45 L Street N.E. Washington, D.C., and will be streamed live with open captioning at www.fcc.gov/live.

As part of the agenda, the Commission will consider:

1. A Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking related to expanding the availability of programming with audio description that:

  • Proposes to expand support for individuals who are blind or visually impaired and ensure that they have nationwide access to video programming by expanding the audio description requirements to all remaining television market areas.
  • Invites comment on whether the costs of implementing the audio description regulations in designated market areas (DMAs) 101 through 210 are reasonable.
  • Proposes to phase in the audio description requirements for an additional 10 DMAs each year until all DMAs are covered, beginning with DMAs 101 through 110 on January 1, 2025, and concluding with DMAs 201 through 210 on January 1, 2035.

2. A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Order related to implementation of the Martha Wright-Reed Just and Reasonable Communications Act of 2022 (Act), which directs the Commission to adopt just and reasonable rates and charges for incarcerated people’s audio and video communications services that:

  • Seeks comment on the Commission’s ability to ensure that incarcerated people’s communications services are accessible to and usable by people with communication disabilities.

March 16, 2023 Meeting News Release:
URL: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-391234A1.pdf  

Public Draft of the Audio Description Further Notice:
URL: https://www.fcc.gov/document/proposing-expanded-audio-description-availability  

Public Draft of the Accessible Carceral Communications Notice and Order:
URL: https://www.fcc.gov/document/ensuring-just-and-reasonable-rates-incarcerated-people  

More information about the March 16, 2023 meeting: https://www.fcc.gov/news-events/events/2023/03/march-2023-open-commission-meeting  

While the Open Meeting is open to the public, the FCC headquarters building is not open access, and all guests must check in with and be screened by FCC security at the main entrance on L Street.  Attendees at the Open Meeting will not be required to have an appointment but must otherwise comply with protocols outlined at: https://www.fcc.gov/visit.

Reasonable Accommodations:  Open captioning will be provided for this event.  Other reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request.  In your request, include a description of the accommodation you will need and a way we can contact you if we need more information.  Last minute requests will be accepted but may be impossible to fill.  Send an e-mail to: fcc504@fcc.gov or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530.

For general information about Audio Description, please visit the FCC’s webpage: https://www.fcc.gov/audio-description.   For more information about the Audio Description Further Notice, please contact Diana Sokolow, Policy Division, Media Bureau, (202) 418-0588, email Diana.Sokolow@fcc.gov.  For general information about communications services for incarcerated individuals, please visit the FCC’s webpage: https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/telephone-service-incarcerated-individuals.  For further information on the accessible carceral communications item, please contact Michael Scott, Disability Rights Office, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, at (202) 418-1264 or Michael.Scott@fcc.gov.  Individuals who use videophones and are fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) may call the FCC’s ASL Consumer Support Line at (844) 432-2275 (videophone).

Friday, February 24, 2023