Category Archives: Disabilities Access

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Video Game Software Industry Seeks a Final Disabilities Access Waiver Extension

The Federal Communications Commission (“Commission” or “FCC”) recently released a Public Notice seeking comment on a petition filed by the Entertainment Software Association (“ESA”) seeking a one year final extension of its class waiver from the FCC’s accessibility requirements (“Petition”). Specifically, ESA seeks waiver from the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act’s (“CVAA”) requirement … Continue Reading

October 2017 FCC Meeting Recap: FCC Establishes Volume Control Standards for Wireline, ACS and Wireless Handsets

At the Federal Communication Commission’s (Commission’s) monthly meeting on October 24, 2017, the Commissioners approved a Report and Order and Order on Reconsideration (Order) updating Commission rules regarding hearing aid compatibility (HAC).  Specifically, the Order adopts a new wireline HAC volume control standard, applies the wireline HAC standards to handsets used for advanced communications services … Continue Reading

FCC Proposes Exempting Non-Nationwide Providers From Wireless Hearing Aid Compatibility Reporting Requirement

The Federal Communications Commission (“Commission”) voted unanimously at its Open Meeting on September 27, 2017 to approve a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) that proposes exempting certain types of wireless providers from the hearing aid compatibility (“HAC”) reporting requirements.  The NPRM outlines possible revisions to the wireless HAC rules that would “reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens, … Continue Reading

FCC Seeks to Create Uniformity in Formal Complaint Processes

This week, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) to increase uniformity among several diverse sets of FCC complaint procedures.  Today, there are three different mechanisms for complaints handled by either the Market Disputes Resolution Division (“MDRD”) or the Telecommunications Consumers Division of the Enforcement Bureau regarding common … Continue Reading

July 2017 FCC Meeting Recap: FCC Expands Video Described Programming Requirement

In advance of its July Open Meeting, the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) unanimously adopted a Report and Order (Order) that revises the rules requiring certain video programming providers to make video described programming available for access by Americans who are blind or visually impaired. The new rules expand the Commission’s existing requirements by increasing the required … Continue Reading

FCC Grants Honda Twenty Month Extension to Comply with Video Accessibility Rules

On March 16, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission’s Media Bureau (Bureau) released a Memorandum Opinion and Order (Order) addressing Honda Motor Co., Ltd’s (Honda) January 2017 petition for limited waiver of video accessibility rules for its in-vehicle rear entertainment systems. The Bureau granted Honda’s 20-month waiver request with the condition that Honda provide status update … Continue Reading

FCC Considers Investigation of 911 Mobile Device Apps

On December 19, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission’s (Commission) Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (Bureau) issued a Public Notice (Notice) seeking comment on a letter from the National Association of State 911 Administrators (NASNA) that asks the Commission to initiate a proceeding to examine issues related to how mobile device 911 applications interface with 911 … Continue Reading

Honda Waiver Request Highlights FCC’s Broad Disabilities Access Authority and Requirements

Last week, the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC or Commission) Media Bureau released a Public Notice (Notice) seeking comment on a petition for limited waiver of the Commission’s rules filed by Honda Motor Company (Honda). Honda seeks a limited 20 month waiver of the requirement for the user interfaces on its rear entertainment systems to be … Continue Reading

FCC Allows Wireless Carriers and Device Manufacturers to Replace Text Telephony with Real-Time Text Technology

On December 15, 2016, at the last Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) Open Meeting under Chairman Tom Wheeler’s tenure, the Commission voted unanimously to adopt a Report and Order (Order) and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) that permits wireless service providers and device manufacturers to support real-time text (RTT) technology instead of text … Continue Reading

FCC Releases Third Biennial Report to Congress on Communications Accessibility for People with Disabilities

On October 7, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released the third iteration of its Biennial Report to Congress on the state of communications technology accessibility for people with disabilities as required by the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA). To inform the conclusions in the 2016 CVAA Biennial Report, the … Continue Reading

FCC Highlights Accessibility Challenges for Individuals with Cognitive Disabilities

On October 6, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a White Paper entitled “Individuals with Cognitive Disabilities: Barriers to and Solutions for Accessible Information and Communication Technologies” containing best practices for equipment manufacturers and service providers looking to comply with the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act and the FCC’s accessibility rules. This … Continue Reading

FCC Seeks Comment on Disabilities Access Findings

On August 23, 2016, the FCC issued a Public Notice seeking comment on the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau’s tentative findings about the accessibility of communications technologies, which will be included in this year’s biennial report to Congress on the 2010 Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) (Biennial Report).  This will be the … Continue Reading

Commission Seeks Comment on TTY-RTT Transition

The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC or the Commission) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on the transition from text telephone (TTY) to real-time text (RTT) was published in the Federal Register on May 25, 2016, which triggers comment and reply deadlines of July 11 and July 25.  The Commission proposes to amend its rules to replace … Continue Reading

FCC Seeks Comment on Accessibility Compliance for the 2016 Biennial CVAA Report

On Monday, May 23, 2016, the Consumer and Government Affairs Bureau (CGB or Bureau) of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) released a Public Notice seeking comment on the state of compliance with the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA) and the FCC regulations implementing the law.  The comments will … Continue Reading

Kelley Drye Webinar Recap: Disability Laws & LGBT Rights in the Workplace

On April 19, Kelley Drye’s Labor and Employment and Communications practice groups held the first in a series of joint webinars on labor issues affecting communications and technology companies. Barbara E. Hoey, partner and chair of Kelley Drye’s Labor and Employment Practice Group, along with partner, Mark A. Konkel guided participants through current federal, state … Continue Reading

FCC Reminds Broadband Providers of Disabilities Access Duties

  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) has long-required regulated telecommunications service providers (as well as VoIP providers) and equipment manufacturers to make their services and devices accessible to individuals with disabilities.  These entities also must annually certify to the FCC their compliance with the disabilities access requirements.  These compliance measures have become fairly … Continue Reading

FCC Expands Hearing Aid Compatibility Rules to Wi-Fi Calling and VoIP and Proposes Compatibility for All Handsets

On November 19, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) adopted a Fourth Report and Order (R&O) and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), expanding its hearing aid compatibility (HAC) rules to cover additional modes of voice communications access, including Wi-Fi calling and VoIP applications.  In the NPRM, the FCC seeks comment on a joint … Continue Reading

FCC Grants AT&T Waiver Request to Use Real-Time Text for Hearing Impaired Communications

On October 6, the FCC issued an Order granting AT&T a temporary limited waiver of the text telephony (TTY) rules “on wireless networks to the extent that they use Internet Protocol (IP) technologies.”  In June 2015, AT&T had filed a Petition for Rulemaking and a separate request for an interim waiver of the Commission’s disabilities access rules … Continue Reading

Wireless Carriers and Text Messaging Providers Should Check PSAP Registry for Text-to-911 Readiness and Contact PSAPs

Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) released its final public notice of updates to the Commission’s Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) Text-to-911 Readiness and Certification Registry (Text-to-911 Registry).  The Text-to-911 Registry contains the effective readiness date of the PSAPS to receive texts to 911, as well as point of contact information for … Continue Reading

AT&T Petitions FCC to Replace TTY with Real-Time Text for Hearing Impaired Communications

On Friday, AT&T submitted a Petition for Rulemaking to the FCC, requesting that the Commission update its rules requiring support for text telephone (TTY) technology.  The petition asks the FCC to launch a proceeding to recognize real-time text (RTT) as an acceptable alternative to TTY under the Commission’s accessibility rules and, in the interim, AT&T … Continue Reading

FCC Expands Emergency Alert Access Obligations for Equipment Manufacturers and MVPDs

Late last week, the FCC released a Second Report and Order and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking imposing additional emergency alert accessibility obligations on both device manufacturers and multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) pursuant to the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA).  The new requirements are designed to make access … Continue Reading

FCC Issues Disabilities Access Recordkeeping Compliance Certification Reminder

Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) released a Public Notice reminding telecommunications service providers, VoIP providers and advanced communications service (“ACS”) providers and equipment manufacturers of their obligation to maintain records of their efforts to implement accessibility requirements, and to annual certify their recordkeeping efforts. The April 1, 2015 filing will certify to compliance during 2014.… Continue Reading
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