Twenty-First Century communications and Video Accessibility Act PDF Print E-mail

"WASHINGTON, June 29, 2009 -- Late Friday night, Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA) re-introduced the Twenty-First Century communications and Video Accessibility Act, comprehensive legislation designed to expand access for people who are blind or have other disabilities to telecommunications equipment and video programming.

... About the Twenty-first Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act

This legislation would:

- require that mobile and other Internet-based telecommunications devices have accessible user interfaces, and offer people with disabilities use of a full range of text messaging and other popular services that are currently largely inaccessible;

- provide people who are deaf-blind with vital but costly technologies they need to communicate electronically,

- restore the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC's) modest video description rules and unambiguously establish the Commission's current and ongoing authority to expand such regulations, require emergency announcements and similar information to be accessible to people with disabilities through audible presentation of on-screen alerts,

- ensure that video programming offered via the Internet will be described, and call for all devices that receive and playback video programming to employ accessible user interfaces and allow ready access to description; and

- strengthen consumers' ability to enforce their rights to communications and video accessibility through the establishment of a clearinghouse of information about service and equipment accessibility and usability, a meaningful FCC complaint process that holds industry accountable for their accessibility obligations, and judicial review of FCC action to ensure the Commission's own accountability."

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Date: June 29, 2009

Author: Eric Bridges, Director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs


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