Senate Passes Important Accessibility Act

Senate Passes Important Accessibility Act

By Rosaline Crawford

August 2010

Editor: Here’s NVRC’s report on the Senate passage of the Twenty-first Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (S. 3304). The report’s author is Rosaline Crawford, NAD, member of the COAT Steering Committee


The Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology (COAT), of which NVRC is a proud member, celebrates the passage of the Twenty-first Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (S. 3304) by the U.S. Senate on August 5, 2010, by unanimous consent.

Due to the extraordinary efforts of advocates across the country and in Washington, DC, COAT secured a monumental step forward in accessible technology.

Earlier this week, Senator Pryor (D-AR) introduced an amendment to improve S. 3304. S. 3304, as amended, was passed by U.S. Senate by unanimous consent. Like H.R. 3101, which was passed on July 26, 2010, S. 3304 will also:

— Require captioned television programs to be captioned when delivered over the Internet.
— Authorize the FCC to require 7 hours per week of video description on the top 4 network channels and top 5 cable channels nationwide.
— Allocate up to $10 million per year for equipment used by individuals who are deaf-blind.
— Require televised emergency information to be accessible to individuals who are blind or have low vision.
— Require accessible advanced communications equipment and services, such as text messaging and e-mail.
— Require access to Internet services that are built-in to mobile telephone devices, like smart phones, if achievable.
— Require devices of any size to be capable of displaying closed captioning, delivering available video description, and making emergency information accessible.
— Require accessible user controls for televisions and set-top boxes, and easy access to closed captioning and video description.
— And more.

For more information, see the section-by-section summary of what S. 3304 (as amended) will do for us at

S. 3304 will now go to the House of Representatives. COAT supports and expects the House will pass S. 3304 soon.

Job well done, everyone! Like the ADA 20 years ago, you are making history now!


Distributed 2010 by Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons (NVRC), 3951 Pender Drive, Suite 130, Fairfax, VA 22030;; 703-352-9055 V, 703-352-9056 TTY, 703-352-9058 Fax.