House Commerce Marking Up Communications Accessibility Bill

Accessibility requirements to be applied to broadband
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The House
Energy & Commerce Committee has scheduled a mark-up for Wednesday
(July 21) for the Twenty-First Century
Communications and
Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (HR 3101), which applies some of the
communications accessibility
requirements in the
Telecommunications Act to broadband, including closed captioning and
device accessibility, as well as
reinstituting the
FCC's video description rules.

A mark-up is
where amendments are added and the committee votes on whether to
approve it for consideration by the House.

A similar
bill
has already been marked up and approved by the Senate Commerce
Committee.

House Energy
& Commerce Committee Chairman has said he would like to get the
bill approved and sent to the floor by the end
of this month to
coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities
Act.

The cable
and consumer electronics industries, which support the disability access
goals of the bill, continue to work with
committees in both
Houses about the specifics of the bills, including deadlines for meeting
video description and online
closed captioning
requirements and how devices like smart phones and other mobile video
products can be made more accessible
without discouraging
innovation or investment in those products.

The Consumer
Electronics Association has warned that a bill with onerous
technological mandates or too broad a definition of
disability would be
unworkable.

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