Video Description NPRM Comment Deadlines Set

WASHINGTON – The comment period has been set for the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on video description of emergency information. Comments are due on Docket No. 12-107 by Dec. 18, 2012; replies are due Dec. 28, 2012. The NRPM was published today in the Federal Register.

FCC rules currently require major-market stations to provide aural video description during regularly scheduled newscasts and breaking news. The NPRM would require that emergency alerts, such as text crawls, also be accompanied by an audio description. The requirement is part of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, passed by Congress two years ago. The law requires that the FCC adopt a rule on provision of video emergency information by April 9, 2013.

The commission is proposing to have TV stations implement a secondary audio channel for emergency video descriptive information. (See “FCC Ponders Secondary Audio for Emergency Alerts.”) This is the same method now used to deliver video descriptions of news programming during the pauses in dialogue.

The same NPRM addresses how to require receivers to deliver emergency video description messages. The commission has until Oct. 9, 2013 to establish receiver rules.
~ Deborah D. McAdams

See the A.W.A.R.E. Forum for more details.