Thursday, November 18, 6:00 – 8:15 p.m.
The 21st Century Communications and Video Programming Accessibility Act
Presented by the Diversity Committee
Location: Arnold & Porter, 555 Twelfth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004-1206
The FCBA Diversity Committee will hold a CLE on Thursday, November 18, 2010, from 6:00 – 8:15 p.m. on the 21st Century Communications and Video Programming Accessibility Act. On October 8, 2010, the Twenty-first Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act was signed into law by President Obama. Considered to be the most significant disability legislation since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the new law will bring current federal communications and video programming access protections for people with disabilities up to date with 21st century Internet and digital technologies. The new legislation is divided into two titles - the first creates new mandates for access to advanced communication technologies, including VoIP products and services, electronic messaging and video conferencing. The second title creates new obligations to include closed captioning on television programs shown on the Internet, reinstates rules for video description on television, and establishes new requirements to make user interfaces, menus and program guides on video programming devices accessible to people who are blind and visually impaired. This CLE will provide comprehensive information about the new law, including the scope of its provisions, its implementation dates, new reporting obligations, and two new FCC advisory committees to be established by the end of this year.
This CLE has been approved for 2.0 MCLE credits from the VA and CA State Bars.
6:00 – 6:05 p.m. Welcome and Introductions
6:05 – 6:20 p.m. Overview of 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act
In the 1980s and 1990s, Congress passed a string of federal laws designed to provide people with disabilities access to our nation’s telecommunications and video programming services. Many of these laws have become outdated with the onset of new broadband, digital and mobile technologies. The 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act brings these accessibility requirements in line with emerging technologies, so that people with disabilities can use the technologies they need to gain access to employment, education, recreation and civic participation.
Karen Peltz Strauss, Deputy Bureau Chief, CGB, Federal Communications Commission
6:20 – 7:10 p.m. Topic I – Communications Access
Title I of the Act expands existing federal accessibility laws to cover advanced communications services and equipment, and creates new requirements for hearing aid compatibility, and telecommunications relay services.
Shellie Blakeney, T-Mobile USA, Inc.
Jenifer Simpson, American Association of People with Disabilities
Paul Schroeder, American Foundation for the Blind
Bernie Wunder, US Telecom
Mary Brooner, TIA Consultant
Laura Ruby, Microsoft Corporation
Matt Gerst, CTIA
7:10 – 7:25 p.m. Break
7:25 – 8:15 p.m. Topic II – Video Programming
Title II of new Act requires televised shows that are closed captioned to be shown on the Internet with captions, creates new obligations for video description on television, and contains several requirements to make video programming devices accessible to people with disabilities.
Gregory Hlibok, Attorney, Federal Communications Commission
Rosaline Crawford, National Association for the Deaf
Eric Bridges, American Council of the Blind
Diane Burstein, National Cable Telecom Association
Ann Bobeck, National Association of Broadcasters
Bill Belt, Consumer Electronics Association