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Federal legislation considers updates to captioning law

In 2010, NCRA was one of many parties involved in the passage of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA), which made sure that accessibility laws enacted in the 1980s and 1990s were brought up to date with 2010-era technologies. Now the Communication, Video, and Technology Accessibility Act (CVTA), an updated version of the CVVA, has been introduced by Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts and Rep. Ann Eshoo of California.

Under the current proposed language, the CVTA would:

1. Improve and expand closed captioning and audio description standards for television programming and online video streaming platforms to ensure that people with disabilities have equitable access to the wide range of programming available to the general public;

2. Update current requirements to ensure viewers can easily activate and select preferred settings for closed captions and audio description on their video programming devices such as televisions, smart phones, laptops, and tablets;

3. Improve access to video programming for people who are deaf and use sign language;

4. Empower the FCC to ensure accessibility regulations keep pace with emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence and augmented or virtual reality platforms.

Accessibility to quality captions for the end consumer is important. Our NCRA captioners provide 24/7 quality human-produced captions for all, and our NCRA Government Relations team has had a front-row seat with Federal Communications Commission’s Disability Access Committee (DAC), influencing recommendations. 

Congress is in the “lame duck” period. With the membership landscape shifting, bills either get pushed through in hopes of passing or will disappear at the end of the session.

More information:

TVtech: Sen. Markey, Rep. Eshoo Introduce Legislation to Improve Video Accessibility

Sen. Markey, Rep. Eshoo introduce legislation to ensure accessibility of video, communications, and emerging technologies for individuals with disabilities

Radio and Television Business Report: Improved Closed Captioning, Audio Descriptions the Focus of House Bill