Communications Act of 1934, as amended

Main Content

47 USC § 255
47 C.F.R. Part 6, Part 7

47 USC § 613
47 C.F.R. § 79.1
47 C.F.R. § 79.2

Enforcing Agency:
Federal Communications Commission 

Summary:
Section 255 and Section 251(a)(2) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, require manufacturers of telecommunications equipment and providers of telecommunications services to ensure that such equipment and services are accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities, if readily achievable. These amendments ensure that people with disabilities will have access to a broad range of products and services such as telephones, cell phones, pagers, call-waiting, and operator services that were often inaccessible to many users with disabilities.

  • Video Programming Accessibility
    Closed Captioning of Video Programming.  The closed caption feature on television screen should be activated at all times.  All televisions 13 inches and larger have a built-in decoder chip and captions are usually activated by a remote control function.  Generally, as of January 1, 2006, 100% of new English language programming must be closed captioned, subject to certain exceptions.

     
  • Accessibility of programming providing emergency information
    Section 79.2 requires that video programming distributors providing emergency information in the audio portion of programming must provide persons with hearing disabilities with the same access to such information that distributors provide to listeners, either through a method of closed captioning or by using another method of visual presentation.  Likewise, emergency information provided in visual format must be presented audibly to be accessible to persons with vision disabilities.

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Last Updated: 
10/06/2012 - 10:00