Sen Markey and Rep Eshoo Introduce the Communications, Video, and Technology Accessibility Act (CTVA)

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Senator Edward Markey (D-MA), author of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA), and Representative Anna G. Eshoo (D- CA-18) introduced the Communications, Video, and Technology Accessibility Act (CVTA). The CVTA updates and amends the CVAA to keep pace with the proliferation of emerging technologies that have come online since Senator Markey’s 2010 bill was passed with bipartisan support and will ensure that people with disabilities have full access to the range of mainstream communication products and services that are necessary to participate equally in professional, educational, recreational, and civic contexts while laying a foundation for accessibility in future technologies. To address issues of digital accessibility, the CVTA would:

  • Improve and expand closed captioning and audio description standards for television programming and online video streaming platforms to ensure that people with disabilities have equitable access to the wide range of programming available to the general public;
  • Update current requirements to ensure viewers can easily activate and select preferred settings for closed captions and audio descriptions on their video programming devices, such as televisions, smartphones, laptops, and tablets;
  • Improve access to video programming for people who are deaf and use sign language;
  • Empower the Federal Communications Commission to ensure accessibility regulations keep pace with emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence and augmented or virtual reality platforms.

Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) are cosponsors.

Sen. Markey and Rep. Eshoo Introduce the Communications, Video, and Technology Accessibility Act (CTVA)