The National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors has joined with two other groups in urging the U.S. government to require cable operators to carry public, education and government channel programming descriptions on their on-screen menus.
NATOA, an advocacy group focused on local-government communications and Internet policy, joined with the National Association of Counties and the U.S. Conference of Mayors in responding to a Federal Communications Commission request for comments on the proposed rule, Accessibility of User Interfaces, and Video Programming Guides and Menus.
On May 30, the FCC issued the notice of proposed rule making that seeks to require that television-user interfaces, video-programming guides and menus provided by digital apparatus and navigation devices be accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired.
In the comments filed by NATO, NAC and the mayors’ conference, the organizations said the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-260) provides the FCC with the legal authority to require cable providers carry program-description information in the PEG channels’ programming guides.
“The plain language of section 205 of the CVAA authorizes the FCC to require audibility of on-screen menus so that the visually impaired can have meaningful access to any array of programming,” the letter said. “However, in order for audible on-screen menus to have functional utility to the visually impaired, the on-screen menu itself should be populated with information that is meaningful and helpful in program selection,” it said. [...]
Click here to access the letter http://www.natoa.org/policy-advocacy/Joint%20CVAA%20Comments%20July%202013.pdf
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