Genesis of the CVAA
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International speakers including Karen Peltz Strauss, Deputy Bureau Chief of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the US, and President and Executive Director of The Global Initiative for Inclusive ICT (G3ict) Axel Leblois, discussed how accessibility is currently driving innovation in legislation and mobile technology.
The new legislation would be based America’s 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA), which was passed in 2010. The most comprehensive access legislation in the world, it makes it mandatory for programs captioned for television broadcast to be captioned when distributed over the internet. Digital television receivers, smartphones, tablets and other devices must also be able to receive captions and play audio description.
Peltz Strauss, who is currently Deputy Bureau Chief of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), has been involved in this field for 30 years. In her presentation, she explained that legislation always struggles to keep up with technology. For example, an amendment to the Telecommunications for the Disabled Act in 1988 ensured that all telephones would be accessible to people with disabilities – with the exception of wireless phones.