[tabi] FCC adopts rules for the visually impaired

  • From: "Chip and Allie Orange" <acorange@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 2 Nov 2013 17:18:25 -0400


FCC adopts TV rules for blind and deaf

By Julian Hattem


The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted rules that should
make it

easier for blind and deaf people to use their televisions.

The regulations finalize a major component of the agency's effort to update
the way

that people with disabilities use modern technology like TV, smart phones
and the


"I'm proud that, as a result of today's action, 25 million Americans who are

or visually impaired will be able to navigate menus on a range of devices
that show

video programming, and an additional 36 million deaf and hard of hearing

will be able to activate closed captions easily," acting FCC Chairwoman
Mignon Clyburn

said in a statement.

"Once these rules take effect, people who are blind or visually impaired
will be

able to quickly find a news channel during an emergency or tune in to their

show as readily as sighted people."

The rules require set-top cable boxes, tablets and other devices can audibly

out on-screen text menus and guides.

Advocates for the blind and visually impaired say that will allow them to

easily navigate

their TVs and understand what's playing on different channels.

Other provisions of the rules require that the devices allow people to press
a button

or icon to turn on closed captioning, which is used by the deaf and people
with hearing


The rules are the last major ones the FCC is issuing to implement the 21st

Communications and Video Accessibility Act, which passed in 2010.

Previous rules have required that Internet browsers on smart phones,
emergency television

alerts and other devices are accessible to blind and deaf people.

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