Washington (June 8, 2023) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee and author of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA), and Representative Anna G. Eshoo (CA-16), senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, released the following statement today after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to approve proposed rules to strengthen accessibility standards across video conferencing platforms:
“We applaud the FCC for adopting the proposal in our Communications, Video, and Technology Accessibility Act (CVTA) to require video conferencing platforms to be accessible for people with disabilities. Today’s unanimous vote will ensure that everyone has access to the tools and technologies that are essential to everyday life. Whether using video conferencing services for recreation, work, education, or healthcare, people with disabilities deserve full and equal access to these services. We thank Chairwoman Rosenworcel for her leadership on this essential issue and congratulate the advocates for their work to make video conferencing platforms accessible for everyone. We look forward to continuing to work with the FCC, the disability community, and our colleagues in Congress on making sure accessibility is never an afterthought.”
Senator Markey is the author of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, which became law in 2010 and mandates accessibility of devices and services for the millions of Americans with disabilities, and enables the use of a wide range of devices and services needed in the digital era. In November 2022, Senator Markey and Representative Eshoo introduced the Communications, Video, and Technology Accessibility Act (CVTA) to amend the CVAA to keep pace with the proliferation of emerging technologies that have come online since 2010. The CVTA would strengthen standards for television programming and emergency communication; expand accessibility requirements, including closed captions and audio descriptions, to online platforms and video conferencing services; and equip the federal government with the ability to improve accessibility of emerging technologies.