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The Audio Description Project

CVAA - The FCC Wants Your Comments

The FCC Wants to Know What Changes You Want to the CVAA
(Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act)

As requested in this FCC Public Notice, the FCC would like to know what changes you feel are required in the 10-year old CVAA.  "Given changes in technology and industry practices, as well as taking into account consumer experiences, we seek comment on whether there is a need to update these rules."  For example, we at the ADP suggest you consider the following.  Are enough shows described today on TV?  Are enough non-broadcast networks (USA, TBS, etc.) covered?  Are enough regions of the country covered?  Are cable TV providers able to supply the right equipment and answer your questions about AD?  Are you satisfied with the quantity and quality of audio description provided?

How about the streaming services?  The ACB has had to initiate legal action in many cases to get streaming companies to provide description.  Should the FCC mandate it for streamers of a certain size or type of content?  And once an audio description track is created, should there be some requirement that it must be passed along just like closed captioning is to any other service that picks up the show for rebroadcast?  These are just some of the things you should be thinking about.  And don't simply rely upon someone else to voice these commentsMAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!  Historically, few blind or low vision individuals have replied to these Requests for Comment, which does not reflect well on the needs and desires of individuals with visual impairment.

How do you submit your comments to the FCC?  Here is the simplified process:

  1. Write your comments in a Word document, PDF, or plain text file.
  2. Go to this web address:  https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filings.
  3. Type the Proceeding Number in the first box:  21-140 and press Enter.
  4. The following fields are required on the form as you tab down:  Name(s); Primary Contact Email; Address Of (use "Filer" or "Author"); Address, City, State, Zip.
  5. At that point, the next field says to "Click or drop files here."  You should be able to click to select your prepared comments, or drag and drop if you prefer.
  6. Click the box to receive an email confirmation of your submission.
  7. Finally you will click the button to "Continue to the Review Screen."  (We haven't done this yet, so we hope it is obvious from here on!)

There is an alternative.  If you want to type your comments directly, use this web address:  https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filings/express.  The form is similar and slightly shorter, and you could cut-and-paste your comments into the Comment block if you wish.  As a last resort, you can send your comments to this address:  [email protected].  In each case, remember that the Proceeding Number is 21-140. 

DO IT NOW!  Don't wait until the May 24th deadline.