Adam Finkel, NCRA’s Director of Government Relations, represented the Association on Feb. 23, at a meeting of the Video Programming Subcommittee, which operates under the auspices of the Federal Communications Commission’s Disability Advisory Committee (DAC). NCRA is one of 23 other parties representing a number of companies, nonprofit organizations, and individual consumers on the subcommittee.
According to Finkel, the Video Programming Subcommittee, established in December 2014, is charged with addressing televised emergency information, closed captioning, video description, and equipment designed to receive, play back, or record video programming.
“NCRA is a vital stakeholder in the work of this subcommittee given the large number of our members who provide captioning and CART services to people who are deaf and hard of hearing,” Finkel said. “Involvement in this subcommittee guarantees that NCRA’s members’ collective voices will be heard when the FCC is considering proposals regarding captioning,” he added.
The DAC was established to provide advice and recommendations to the FCC on a wide array of disability issues within its jurisdiction. “As television continues to evolve away from traditional mediums to different online services like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, NCRA will work to ensure that these services will be captioned, and if the program is distributed live, captioning will be done by a qualified realtime captioner,” said Finkel.
According to the FCC, the DAC will provide a means for stakeholders with interests in accessibility issues to exchange ideas, facilitate the participation of consumers with disabilities in proceedings before the FCC, and assist the FCC in educating the greater disability community and ADA-covered entities on disability-related matters. The Committee is expected to keep the FCC apprised of current and evolving communications issues for persons with disabilities. Other subcommittees include Communications, Emergency Communications, and Relay/Equipment Distribution.