This August, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced requirements and compliance deadlines that impact communications and technology accesses for people with hearing loss. The first was the order requiring closed captioning of internet video clips [MB Docket No. 11-154] which establishes an effective date of September 4, 2014. They also adopted rules that complement previous commitments made by wireless carriers to support text-to-911 by May 2014. Now, in addition to the four largest wireless carriers in the U.S. (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon), certain IP-based text applications and the remaining wireless carriers are expected to support text-to-911 by the end of the year. The FCC also released a Third Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking [PS Docket No.s 11-153 and 10-255] seeking comment related to technical issues regarding enhanced location provision, text-to-911 roaming support, and potential text service capabilities.
Lastly, the FCC’s Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB) is accepting comments on the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Seeks Comment on Its Tentative Findings About the Accessibility of Communications Technologies for the 2014 Biennial Report Under the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA). The FCC requests that comments address their reported findings regarding CVAA compliance with accessibility requirements for telecommunications and advanced communications services and equipment, the effect of related recordkeeping and enforcement obligations, and existing accessibility barriers that may still exist with respect to new communications technologies. The deadline for public comment is September 11, 2014.