Television for All: Increasing Television Accessibility for the Visually Impaired Through the Fcc's Ability to Regulate Video Description Technology (Rough Consensus and Running Code: Integrating Engineering Principles Into the Internet Policy Debates) by Federal Communications Law Journal

Television for All: Increasing Television Accessibility for the Visually Impaired Through the Fcc's Ability to Regulate Video Description Technology (Rough Consensus and Running Code: Integrating Engineering Principles Into the Internet Policy Debates)

By Federal Communications Law Journal

  • Release Date: 2011-03-01
  • Category: Law

Brief Description

I. INTRODUCTION Many people take for granted the relatively simple action of sitting down at the end of the day and turning on the television. They can relax and let wave after wave of sounds and images wash over them, relieving their stress and tension. Regardless of whether the dial is set to sports or a soap opera, news or nonsense, drama or comedy, television is something that has become part of the fabric of almost every person's life. However, there are a significant number of people in the United States who are unable to enjoy this activity. The U.S. judicial system has created a "have and have-not" dichotomy when it comes to persons with disabilities enjoying television. As a result of the D.C. Circuit's 2002 decision in Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. v. Federal Communications Commission, the FCC is allowed to regulate closed captioning, forcing television manufacturers and broadcasters to implement technology that will allow deaf Americans to enjoy television more fully. (1) In the same decision, the court found that the FCC did not have power to promulgate regulations regarding video descriptions (2) that would allow blind and seeing-impaired Americans to have a more complete television experience, similar to those without a disability. (3)

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