Pryor, Markey Push FCC To Mandate Clip Captioning

Authors of CVAA Say Commission Exemption Wasn't What They Intended

Authors of CVAA say FCC exemption was not what they intended.

Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), chairman of the Senate Communications Subcommittee and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), former chair of the House Telecommunications Subcommittee, want the FCC to close caption online video clips, rather than just longer-form video.

In deciding how to enforce the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA), which was co-authored by Pryor and Markey, the FCC did not apply the IP captioning rules to clips, as first reported by Multichannel News.

In a letter to new FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, the pair said they wanted to clarify that their legislative intent had been to do so.

They cited a report that found that without that mandate, the majority of clips were not being closed captioned. Some groups have petitioned the FCC to reconsider its decision not to expressely include clips in the mandate, and Markey and Pryor support that petition.

The FCC had said at the time that it might have to revisit its decision if there was evidence that Americans with disabilities are not getting access to critical info.

“Unfortunately, recent findings reveal that this decision is already resulting in the denial of significant civic, educational and entertainment opportunities to millions of Americans with disabilities,” they wrote. “We hope that the FCC takes this opportunity to resolve this issue and ensure that millions of people who are deaf and hard of hearing are not shut out from important online programming.”