New closed captioning regulations released

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission unveiled new regulations January 12 requiring all new content shown on TV and the internet to included technology making it accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Red Universal Access Symbol
Video Accessibility

“We are thrilled with this tremendous step forward in making online programming accessible for millions of deaf and hard of hearing people. Access to online videos is very important to our community. Our efforts to make the Internet more accessible are far from finished. We will continue to advocate for full access to the online world,” said Bobbie Beth Scoggins, president of the National Association of the Deaf, in a news release.

The new regulations were formed by the Video Programming Access Advisory Committee, a panel of media regulators and consumer advocacy groups created as part of the  21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, signed into law by President Obama in October 2010.

The regulations require that within six months, all prerecorded programming that is not edited for Internet distribution include closed captioning technology.

In 12 months, the technology must be installed in all live, and near live, programming  recorded within 24 hours of broadcast on television.

In 18 months,  prerecorded programming edited for Internet distribution must be accessible.

In 24 months, archival programming must meet the same requirements.