“This page is a digitally archived AccessInfo Announcement”
On October 31, 2013, the FCC released a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking adopting new accessibility requirements for televisions, set-top boxes, and other devices used to watch video programming, as required by Sections 204 and 205 of the Twenty- First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA).
Manufacturers of televisions, computers, tablets, smartphones, and other devices used to watch video programming will need to make built-in functions related to video programming and on-screen text menus and visual indicators accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired, if achievable. Manufacturers must also enable viewers to access closed captioning and video description via mechanisms that are reasonably comparable to buttons, keys, or icons.
Manufacturers of set-top boxes and cable and satellite television companies that lease or sell set-top boxes must make their on-screen text menus and program guides that are used to display or select video programming accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired, if achievable. Accessible set-top boxes or accessibility solutions must be provided upon request and at no additional charge to individuals who are blind or visually impaired. Documentation that verifies that the individual is blind or visually impaired may be required in certain circumstances. Set-top boxes must also include access to closed captioning via a mechanism that is reasonably comparable to a button, key, or icon.
These requirements take effect three years after the Report and Order is published in the Federal Register; and five years after publication for mid-sized and smaller cable operators and small cable systems.
The Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeks comment on related issues. Comments will be due 60 days after publication in the Federal Register, and reply comments will be due 30 days later.
Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which includes separate statements by Acting Chairwoman Clyburn and Commissioner Rosenworcel, and a statement by Commissioner Pai, approving in part, concurring in part:
News Release – FCC Adopts New Rules to Make Video Devices Accessible to People with Disabilities: Order Represents Final Milestone in FCC’s Implementation of Landmark Law Making Digital Communications More Accessible:
For additional information, contact Adam Copeland at Adam.Copeland@fcc.gov, or Maria Mullarkey at Maria.Mullarkey@fcc.gov, of the Media Bureau, Policy Division, (202) 418-2120; or Eliot Greenwald at Eliot.Greenwald@fcc.gov or 202-418-2235 or Rosaline Crawford at Rosaline.Crawford@fcc.gov or 202-418-2075, of the Disability Rights Office.