Senate Commerce To Mark Up Accessibility Bill - Broadcasting & Cable

Senate Commerce To Mark Up Accessibility Bill

Bill would restore FCC's video description mandate, among other provisions
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The
Senate Commerce Committee Thursday will mark up S. 3304, the Equal Access To
21st Century Communications Act.

That
is the Senate version of the bill that would update the Telecommunications
Act's provisions on accessibility of telecommunications services to the
disabled in light of the rise of broadband.

The
House Communications Subcommittee has already marked up its version of the bill
(H.R. 3101), and House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman
(D-Calif.) has said he would like to see a bill passed before the end of the
month to coincide with the 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities
Act.

The House
bill may also be marked up in full committee this week, according to a
source.

The bills
would restore the FCC's video description mandate, which was thrown out by the
courts; would apply captioning requirements to online video, and come up with
standards for equipment accessibility. The bill attempts to ensure that
communications devices have function keys for the access features and that, for
example, emergency warnings are still viewable even on small screens.

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