FCC, Federal Communications Commission

U.S. clarifies TV captioning responsibilities

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In a new ruling, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has moved to improve captions by clarifying who bears the responsibility for their delivery and quality.

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Government announces review of the ACMA

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The Department of Communications is undertaking a comprehensive review of Australia’s communications regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), to ensure that the organisation is equipped to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing media landscape.

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New caption quality rules take effect in the US

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has introduced new quality rules for closed captions on television which come into effect in the US on 16 March 2015.

Left hand pointing remote control towards TV. Image credit: flash.pro via Flickr


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US communications regulator reports on audio description

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a report on the current state of audio description on broadcast television and television delivered over the internet.

The 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 gave the FCC the power to reinstate audio description quotas for television, which it did in 2011. Currently, commercial stations affiliated with the top four networks in the top 25 markets must provide 50 hours of audio described prime time or children’s programs per quarter.


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The Audio Description Project Conference

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The third annual Audio Description Conference, an initiative of the American Council of the Blind, will be held in Las Vegas from 13 to 15 July.

The conference brings together audio describers, consumers, policymakers and other experts to discuss the current state of audio description and how the service could be improved and extended. This year there are sessions about the ways that audio description can aid literacy; audio description for broadcast television, the performing arts and museums; and audio description in Spanish.


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US communications regulator FCC seeks comment on tech accessibility

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The US communications regulator, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), has put out a call for industry and public comment on the accessibility of communications technologies.

The comment will help the FCC produce a report on the extent to which communication technologies are accessible, ongoing accessibility barriers of these technologies, as well as recordkeeping and enforcement of accessibility requirements.

The FCC is required to produce a report every two years on the level of industry compliance with the accessibility requirements of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act 2010 (CVAA).


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US regulator dismisses captioning exemption petitions

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has dismissed petitions from 16 television programs requesting exemptions from closed captioning requirements because they would be “economically burdensome”.

According to the notice issued by the FCC on 2 June 2014, after representatives of the programs lodged initial petitions for exemptions, they were asked to provide further information. As they had failed to do this to the FCC’s satisfaction, it dismissed the petitions, which means that the programs have 90 days to meet captioning requirements. The programs include Zomboo’s House of Horror Movies, The Norm Prouty Real Estate Show and several religious programs.


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Winners of US Awards for Advancement in Accessibility announced

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America’s communications regulator, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced the winners of the 2014 FCC Chairman Awards for Advancement in Accessibility.

The awards, presented at the M-Enabling Summit, seek to recognise innovators who develop communications technology for people with disabilities.

This year, seven award categories were available, including Advanced Communication Services (ACS), Employment Opportunities, Closed Captions, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Mobile Web Browsers, Social Media and Video Description.

The winners were:


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US adopts rules to make electronic devices more accessible

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted a set of rules which will make a wide range of electronic devices more accessible for the Deaf or hearing impaired and blind or vision impaired.

The rules cover any device which is used to receive or play digital video, including televisions, set-top boxes, computers and smartphones. From now on, these will need to have on-screen text menus and program guides which are audibly accessible (i.e. the user can opt to hear them spoken), and a single button, key or icon to activate accessibility features such as closed captions.


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