Yesterday the FCC announced the membership of the two advisory committees mandated by the recent Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, which requires the FCC to promulgate rules on accessibility of devices for use by the disabled, Internet closed-captioning and video description.
The FCC named 45 members to the Video Programming and Emergency Access Advisory Committee, the advisory committee in charge of developing recommendations on closed captioning of Internet programming; accessibility of devices capable of receiving Internet video programming; video description and emergency information over Internet or digital broadcast television; accessibility of user interfaces on video programming devices (remotes); and accessible programming guides and menus. The members include representatives from video programmers (CBS, TBS, Disney-ABC), video/cable operators (Cox, Bright House, AT&T, DirecTV), technology companies (Microsoft, Google) and manufacturers (Sony, Motorola, LG), as well as industry associations (NCTA, NAB, MPAA). The committee's first meeting will be held January 13, 2011, and is open to the public. The committee must make its recommendations on Internet closed-captioning issues by July 13, 2011 (assuming the January 13 meeting is held as scheduled), and recommendations on the remaining issues (including video description) are due April 8, 2012.
The FCC also announced 32 members to the Emergency Access Advisory Committee, which is charged with determining the most effective and efficient technologies and methods to access Next Generation 911 emergency services. Richard Ray of the City of Los Angeles Department on Disability, and David Dzumba of the Telecommunications Industry Association, were named co-chairs. The committee's first meeting will be held January 14, 2011, and is open to the public.