Audio description rules formally adopted in USA

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Friday, 26 August 2011 13:01pm

On 25 August 2011 the Federal Communications Commission formally voted in the requirements to deliver audio description on a number of American TV and cable channels.  These new rules flow on from the provisions of the 21st Century Video Accessibility Act and apply from October 2011 with full compliance required by July 2012. 

The rules require the major television networks (ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC) and their affiliates in the top 25 market areas to provide audio description (called “video description” in the USA) to provide at least 50 hours of children’s or prime time programming per quarter.  These rules also apply to any cable and satellite stations with more than 50,000 subscribers, including the Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, TNT and TBS.

There are additional requirements designed to minimise repeats and existing description counting towards the quota.

Audio description on TV is yet to be trialed in Australia.

The Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology in the US has been following the story closely. 

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