Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Congress Passes Video Accessibility Act

Congress has sent to the president a bill that would provide the deaf with the ability to watch captioned TV programs online. The Senate passed the Equal Access to 21st Century Communications Act last month and the House approved it late last night. Bill S. 3304lays out federal guidelines for the telecommunications industry for a variety of issues, including a requirement that video programming devices such as MP3 players and digital video recorders be capable of closed captioning, video description and emergency alerts. Remote controls will be required to closed captioning buttons that are easily accessable. The measure also gives the blind access to the Internet through improved user interfaces for smart phones. Any big company producing more than 60 hours a week of video will be required to include audio descriptions.

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