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article imageFCC proposes making TV menus accessible to blind

By Robert Kingett     Jun 19, 2013 in Environment
Federal regulators are unveiling draft rules to make cable and television menus accessible to the blind and visually impaired, leaving accessibility doors open
The proposal from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will require that users have onscreen menus read out loud, helping the blind understand what's playing on different channels. Cable and satellite menus, as well as other devices, will have to comply with the new rule once it is finalized.
The new proposal requires that 11 "essential functions" of TV are accessible, including adjusting volume, obtaining program and channel information and various configuration settings.
The proposal is the FCC's last in a series of new rules to implement the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA), a 2010 law. The agency had previously issued rules making cellphones' Internet browsers and emergency TV alerts accessible to blind people, among other measures.
The law sailed through Congress as an attempt to update technology for the modern era, making sure that people with disabilities could take advantage of cellphones and digital tools just like everyone else.
The FCC is scheduled to publish the proposal in the Federal Register on Tuesday and is accepting comments for the next 50 days.
The agency has said it intends to finalize the rule by October.
the FCC are seeking comments to find out if these rules need to be more specific. For instance, should these rules only be applied to cable and satellite providers, or should it be expanded to include devices such as a Roku box. In addition, the FCC is proposing that audio description and close captioning should be able to be turned on using a single button press or another similar method
More about Blindness, Fcc, Goverment, Accessibility, Accessible
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