FCC Releases Schedule for Orders Implementing New Accessibility Requirements under P.L.111-260

At its open public meeting on November 30, 2010, staff at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) made a presentation on the status of implementation of the "21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010" (P.L. 111-260). See FCC 10-slide Powerpoint here or one page Word versions of the schedule for implementation attached below. Significantly, several rulemakings are underway as follows:

  • NPRM and Public Notice on hearing aid compatibility
  • Public Notices seeking nominations for the Video Programming and Emergency Access Advisory committees or VPEAAC and the Emergency Access Advisory Committee or EAAC
  • Public Notice on Advanced Communications
  • Public Notice on national deaf-blind equipment distribution program.

This FCC presentation included a detailed schedule of when Reports & Orders (i.e., new rules/regulations) will be issued. Note that a "Report & Order (R&O)" is a Commission term. That is, after considering comments and reply comments to Notices of Inquiries or Notices of Proposed Rulemakings, the FCC may issue a Report & Order amending the rules or deciding not to do so. Summaries of R&Os are published in the Federal Register. Issuance of an R&O triggers a 30-day period for Petitions for Reconsideration.

FCC R&Os to implement our new law will be released, as follows:

  • Deaf-Blind Equipment program, due 2nd quarter, 2011.
  • Video Description Reinstatement, due 4th quarter 2011
  • Hearing Aid Compatibility of Advanced Communications, due 4th quarter 2011.
  • Relay Service Contributions, due 4th Quarter 2011
  • Advanced Communications Services & Equipment,  due 4th quarter 2011.
  • Internet Captioning of TV, due 1st quarter of 2012.
  • Closed Captioning of video devices, due 1st quarter of 2012
  • Accessible Internet Browsers, due 3rd quarter 2013
  • Compliance Report to U.S. Congress, due 4th quarter of 2012.
  • Video description on video devices, due 4th quarter 2013
  • Accessible User Interfaces, due 4th quarter 2013
  • Accessible On-Screen Menus, due 4th quarter 2013
  • Emergency Access to TV Programming, 2nd quarter of 2013.
  • Video description on video devices, 4th quarter of 2013
  • Accessible User Interfaces, 4th quarter of 2013.

Several other FCC reports from the Advisory Committees are due prior to many of the rulemakings, as follows:

  • VPEAAC Report on Internet Captioning, due 3rd quarter 2011
  • VPEAAC Report on Closed Captioning of Video Devices, due 3rd quarter 2011
  • Reliable Access to Next Generation 9-1-1 Centers, due 4th quarter 2011
  • Emergency Access to TV programming, due 2nd quarter 2012
  • Video description on video devices, due 2nd quarter 2012
  • Accessible user interfaces, due 2nd quarter 2012
  • Accessible onscreen menus, due 2nd quarter 2012.

Note that quarters are as follows:

  • 1st quarter, Jan 1 - Mar 31
  • 2nd quarter, Apr 1 - Jun 30
  • 3rd quarter, July 1 - Sept 30
  • 4th quarter, Oct 1 - Dec 31

Looks like COAT affiliates have lots of work ahead!



The link to the schedule on

The link to the schedule on the government site seems to be non-functional? 

We have a question please about when all televison remotes need to include the button to turn on the captioning - does anyone know this schedule? 

And when someone in any public place cannot figure out how to turn it on (even though the button is there, even though it's a new tv), what is the next step? Will all public places with televsion be required to know the law, and to action it (by request, or open captions for all regularly)?

Thanks in advance for any details you can provide here, or to ccacaptioning@gmai.com