Washington, DC (August 29, 2011) – The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) commends the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for releasing rules reinstating video description of television. Video description makes television programs accessible to people with visual disabilities by providing narrated descriptions of a program’s key visual elements inserted into natural pauses in the TV program’s dialogue. The rules will go into effect in July of 2012.
“This is a huge victory for accessibility,” said AAPD President and CEO Mark Perriello. “The FCC’s decision will make television more accessible for millions of Americans,” he added.
The FCC’s decision reinstates rules that the FCC adopted in 2000 and that a federal court struck down in 2002. In response, the Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology (COAT), which AAPD co-founded in 2007 with the American Council of the Blind, American Foundation for the Blind, and other organizations, began a campaign to restore full access to television programming. In 2010, the U.S. Congress paved the way for reinstating video transcription when it enacted the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA). This new law required reinstatement of video description rules, among other accessible technology requirements.
“Accessible television demonstrates America’s strong commitment to the civil rights of people with disabilities,” Perriello said further. “Our blind communities will not only be able to enjoy the cultural information and entertainment that video content providers offer, but they can now be part of the conversations around it, further fulfilling the goal of equality for all people with disabilities under the law.”
For more information about COAT, visit www.coataccess.org.
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The American Association of People with Disabilities is a convener, connector, and catalyst for change, increasing the political and economic power of people with disabilities.