Senators are coauthors of 21 st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act


Washington (December 6, 2013) - Senators Edward J. Markey (DMass.) and Mark Pryor (DArk.), authors of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) today wrote to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to clarify their legislative intent and encourage the agency to reconsider its earlier decision to exempt video clips from the IP captioning rules in the law. The CVAA serves as a critical onramp to the Internet for millions of Americans who are blind and deaf.


"Unfortunately, recent findings reveal that this decision is already resulting in the denial of significant civic, educational and entertainment opportunities to millions of Americans with disabilities," write Senators Markey and Pryor. "We hope that the FCC takes this opportunity to resolve this issue and ensure that millions of people who are deaf and hard of hearing are not shut out from important online programming."


A copy of the letter to the FCC can be found HERE


Citing a report from earlier this year that found the majority of clips posted online were not captioned - including such critical programming as 77 percent of news clips - the Senators stated that captioning should encompass video clips in addition to fulllength programming as a way of reaching consumers with disabilities. Senators Markey and Pryor had previously written the FCC outlining their view that the CVAA requires captioning video programming delivered using IP even if the original fulllength programming is shown on the Internet in segments and even if not all of the segments are posted online.


The 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act mandates accessibility of devices and services for the 54 million Americans with disabilities, enabling use a wide range of devices and services needed in the digital era, including smart phones for accessing the Internet, closed captioning for online video, audio descriptions of television programming, audible emergency alerts and other technologies. The CVAA was signed into law by President Obama on October 8, 2010