Purpose of the Communications, Video, and Technology Accessibility Act (CVTA)

The CVTA Act will enhance communications, video and technology accessibility for individuals with disabilities by requiring: a) closed captioning for online video programming, mirroring current televised video programming requirements, b) audio description for both online and televised video programming, c) video conferencing services to have built-in accessibility features, such as automatic captioning functions, and the ability to connect sign language interpreters and assistive technologies that are designed to increase access for people with disabilities (e.g., refreshable braille displays), and d) manufacturers of devices that display video programming, such as televisions and computers, to include features that allow easy activation and customization of closed captioning and audio description preferences.

Further, the CVTA Act aims to direct the FCC to create and update quality standards for video programming accessibility, establishing standards for American Sign Language interpretation when provided during video programming, ensure deaf people who use sign language have equitable access to 9-1-1 emergency services through the use of direct video calling or telecommunications relay services, expand the contribution base for the Telecommunications Relay Services Interstate Fund to ensure its sustainability; and empower the FCC to ensure accessibility regulations keep pace with emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality platforms.