Congress Passes Digital Disability Access Bill


The House Tuesday night passed S. 3828, the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010.

Among other things, the bill requires the captioning of any online video that is closed captioned on TV, and asks the FCC to study captioning of Web-original video. It also requires smart phones and other mobile devices to be accessible to the disabled, if that is achievable, and restores the FCC's video description rules thrown out by the courts in 2002.

The bill passed the Senate last week.

"We applaud the Congress for approving and sending to President Obama the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010," said National Cable & telecommunications Association president Kyle McSlarrow in a statement. "Lead sponsors Rep. Ed Markey and Sen. Mark Pryor deserve enormous credit for spearheading this important legislation that will significantly improve accessibility of communications services and equipment for Americans with disabilities. The Act is the result of thoughtful bipartisan process and we would also like to thank Sens. Rockefeller, Hutchison, Kerry and Ensign and Reps. Waxman, Barton, Boucher and Stearns for their significant efforts. Our industry will work closely with the Federal Communications Commission to implement rules that will aid millions of Americans with disabilities in enjoying cable programming and services."