FCC Issues Accessible User Interface Deadline Reminder

WASHINGTON—The FCC has sent out a Public Notice to manufacturers and multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) of the upcoming Dec. 20 deadline for compliance with the pair of Accessible User Interface Orders. The Accessible User Interfaces Orders—one which was issued in 2013, the other in 2015—require user interfaces, video programming guides and menus available on TVs, set-top boxes and other devices, as well as available for those with disabilities.

The specifics of the initial Accessible User Interface Order included the ability for digital apparatus and on-screen text menus and guides to be accessible and usable for the blind or visually impaired, if achievable. They must also offer devices with built-in closed captioning and/or video description capability something akin to a button, key or icon in order to activate. The Second Accessible User Interface Order added that the appropriate information, documentation and training requirements be made available to consumers and that contacts be provided to answer all potential questions.

Manufacturers of digital apparatus and MVPDs that lease or sell navigation devices are responsible for compliance with the rules by the deadline. However, MVPD operators with 400,000 or fewer subscribers as of year-end 2012 and MVPD systems with 20,000 or fewer subscribers that are not affiliated with an operator serving more than 10 percent of all MVPD subscribers as of year-end 2012 will be given a two-year deferred compliance deadline.

For more information on the FCC’s public notice, or the full requirements for compliance, click here.