FCC, Federal Communications Commission

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FCC to ensure deaf-blind Americans have access to 21st century communications technology


The US media and communications regulator, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), has announced that it will spend US$10 million per year to provide low-income people who are deaf-blind with access to 21st century communications technology.

In line with the 21st Century Video and Communications Accessibility Act of 2010, the pilot program will help ensure that individuals who are deaf-blind have access to the Internet, and advanced communications, including interexchange services and advanced telecommunications and information services.

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US communications regulator proposes new access rules


The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will hold an open meeting on 3 March to consider Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRMs) on two proposals of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act.

These are:

  • The proposal to require providers of advanced communications services and manufacturers of equipment used for those services to make products accessible for people with disabilities.
  • The proposal to reinstate the FCC’s rules for video description (called audio description in Australia).

The 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, a comprehensive set of proposals to make electronic and online media accessible, was signed into law by President Obama on 8 October 2010.

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Audio description on TV in the US

Legislation on audio description on TV in the United States was introduced in 2010, after setbacks to audio description such as the switch from analogue to digital television, and the resistance of the Motion Picture Association to audio description on TV.

In 2010, President Obama signed into law the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 which restores rules set out by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) mandating audio description on television.

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American groups call for universal television captioning


US Deaf and hearing impaired and disability advocacy groups have filed a petition with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for television to be fully captioned.

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