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FCC Seeks Input on VPAAC Report on Video Description: Guidelines & Recommendations

04.09.12 – The FCC’s Video Programming Accessibility Advisory Committee (VPAAC) issued a Report concerning Video Description and the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010.  The report describes the chain of distribution of video descriptions including the production of video descriptions by and distribution to consumers highlighting that the rights to create video description must first be obtained before a script describing the visual elements of a television program can be created. The video descriptions for digital television will then be implemented as a secondary audio stream. The report also makes recommendations concerning the delivery of video description.  Recommendations include ensuring information is provided to consumers as to which programs will contain descriptions, instituting more user-friendly mechanisms to allow for multiple audio service channels and that secondary channels not be programmed with silence, establishing a point of contact for customers’ concerns regarding video description, and creating best practices concerning the description quality. The FCC is currently seeking comment on two aspects of the report.  First, the FCC is seeking comment on portions of the report that address the accessibility of user interfaces and video programming guides and menus including features such as audio output for on-screen menus and means to easily activate closed captioning or video description for menu navigation. In addition, the FCC is seeking comment on ways in which video programming apparatuses can be utilized to provide accessible video descriptions for emergency information. Comments are due June 8, 2012.  [Source: FCC]

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