At the recent M-Enabling Conference hosted by the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network in Sydney, one of the keynote speakers was Karen Peltz Strauss, Deputy Bureau Chief at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the USA. Peltz Strauss has been involved in access to media and information by people with disabilities for many decades, working from both the consumer and regulatory sides. Media Access Australia’s CEO Alex Varley caught up with Peltz Strauss at M-Enabling to discuss the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA). Peltz Strauss was a major player in the development of the CVAA and now has the task of implementing the provisions of the Act in her capacity as a regulator.
Genesis of the CVAA
The origins of the CVAA lie in actions started in 2005, by Peltz Strauss, after some consultations with others in the field. Clearly, the access provisions of the Communications Act in the USA had delivered telecommunications and television access, but they were not keeping up with the times, particularly with new technology and emerging ways of delivering content to consumers.