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Re: FCC Support for Disabilities on Websites (Closed Caption

From: <mbowering@mailhost.reccol.com>
Date: Fri, 08 Dec 95 09:08:06 GMT
Message-Id: <9511088184.AA818442871@mailhost.reccol.com>
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______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: FCC Support for Disabilities on Websites (Closed Captioning 
Author:  www-talk@w3.org at Internet
Date:    07/12/95 19:07


In light of the Disabilities Access Workshop to be held at the WWW Conference 
this week, I thought this news release might be of interest to everyone.
     
Regards,
     
Mike Paciello
     
     
From: US2RMC::"larry_goldberg@wgbh.org" "Larry Goldberg"    7-DEC-1995 
13:20:48.60
To: distribution:;@us2rmc.zko.dec.com (see end of body) 
CC: 
Subj: FCC NOI
     
                       Subject:                               Time:12:27
  OFFICE MEMO          FCC NOI                                Date:12/7/95
     
At this week's Captioning Symposium that the CPB/WGBH National Center for 
Accessible Media (NCAM) held in NYC, FCC chairman Reed Hundt announced a 
Notice of Inquiry regarding captioning and video description.  This is a major 
initiative that could lead to a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and eventual FCC 
regulations.  Comments are due Jan. 29, 1996.
     
The lead paragraph of the NOI press release reads (full press release and full 
electronic version of the NOI is or will soon be on the FCC's website - 
www.fcc.gov - under the Mass Media Bureau):
     
"The FCC has issued a historic Notice of Inquiry regarding two services that 
benefit millions of Americans with disabilities: closed captioning and video 
description of television programming.  The Commission seeks comment on the 
current availability, cost, and uses of these two services.  It also requests 
the public's views on the appropriate means of promoting the wider use of 
closed captioning and video description in programming delivered by television 
broadcasters, cable operators, and other video program providers."
     
A very interesting side-note is that this NOI is the first time a web site has 
been cited in an FCC document for a footnote or resource and it is GBH's Web 
site that is cited!
     
     
     
<<<<<< Attached TEXT file named "NOI-release" follows >>>>>> 
NEWS Report No. MM 95-115     
MASS MEDIA ACTION             
December 4, 1995
     
FCC LAUNCHES HISTORIC INQUIRY ON PROMOTING CLOSED           CAPTIONING AND 
VIDEO DESCRIPTION OF VIDEO PROGRAMMING       
     
The FCC has issued a historic Notice of Inquiry regarding two services that 
benefit millions of Americans with disabilities: closed captioning and video 
description of television programming.  The Commission seeks comment on the 
current availability, cost, and uses of these two services.  It also requests 
the public's views on the appropriate means of promoting the wider use of 
closed captioning and video description in programming delivered by television 
broadcasters, cable operators, and other video program providers.  
     
Legislation currently pending in Congress would, for the first time, generally 
mandate the closed captioning of television video programming, and also would 
require the FCC to study the uses of video description.  The record developed 
in this proceeding will enable the Commission to expedite the implementation 
of this legislation if enacted into law.              
     
Closed captioning provides important benefits primarily for individuals with 
hearing disabilities by displaying the audio portion of a television signal as 
printed words on the television screen.  Video description is a more recent 
innovation that benefits individuals with vision disabilities.  It provides 
audio descriptions of a program's key visual elements that are inserted during 
the natural pauses in the program's dialogue.       
     
There are presently no Commission rules regarding video description.  As for 
closed captioning, the Commission has adopted a number of rules to promote 
closed captioning technology.  In 1976, it adopted rules reserving line 21 of 
the vertical blanking interval for the transmission of closed captioning.  In 
1991, it adopted rules implementing the Television Decoder Circuitry Act, 
which generally requires television receivers that are 13 inches or larger to 
be equipped with circuitry capable of receiving and displaying closed 
captioning.   
     
    The Notice of Inquiry, which was initiated by and coordinated with the
Commission's Disabilities Issues Task Force and Mass Media Bureau, seeks 
comment on the following general issues:               
     
1. The public interest benefits of closed captioning and video description;   
     
2. The current availability of closed captioned and video described television 
programming, including the degree to which availability varies by program 
source, program type, market size and other factors;
3. The potential impact of advanced television and digital technologies on the 
availability of closed captioning and video description;       
4.  The cost of closed captioning and video description, as well as the 
current sources of supply and funding for these services;       
5. The market incentives for closed captioning and video description;       
6. What if any measures the Commission should take to promote closed 
captioning and video description; and       
7.  In the event mandatory requirements are deemed necessary, the general form 
that they should take.  
     
The item seeks comment on which entities should be subject to such 
requirements, appropriate exemptions from any requirements, technical and 
quality standards, transition mechanisms, and strategies to improve 
competition and innovation in the provision of these services.     
     
Comments are due to the FCC on January 29, 1996 and reply comments on February 
14, 1996.  
     
Action by the Commission December 1, 1995 by Notice of Inquiry (FCC 95-484). 
Chairman Hundt and Commissioners Quello, Barrett, Ness and Chong.        
     
- FCC -News Media contact: Kara Palamaras at (202) 418-0500. 
Mass Media Bureau contact: Charles W. Logan at (202) 776-1653.
     
Received on Friday, 8 December 1995 04:13:14 GMT

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