FCC Seeks Comment on Closed Captioning Display Settings Proposal  

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is seeking comment on a consumer coalition proposal regarding the accessibility of closed captioning display settings. 

Specifically, in determining whether closed captioning display settings are readily accessible, the proposal recommends that the FCC consider four factors ─ proximity, discoverability, previewability, and consistency and persistence.

Coalition Proposal

In 2015, the FCC proposed rules that would require manufacturers of covered apparatus and multichannel video programming distributors to make closed captioning display settings readily accessible to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.

The FCC sought additional feedback on those rules early last year and a coalition of consumer groups – including Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. (TDI), the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), and the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) – proposed that the commission should require closed captioning display settings to be proximate, discoverable, previewable, and consistent and persistent.

As outlined by the group:

  • Proximity looks at the number of steps required to access closed captioning display settings as well as whether the settings are available on the same device as the video programming.
  • Discoverability takes into consideration whether it is simple and intuitive for viewers to find closed captioning display settings.
  • Previewability considers whether viewers can preview the appearance of closed captions on their screens while changing the closed captioning display settings.
  • Consistency and Persistence involves whether access to the display settings is consistent across devices and platforms and across different applications on the same device and persistent over time.

How to Comment

Comments are due by Friday, March 3 and replies to comments by Monday, March 20. Interested parties may file comments by accessing the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System at https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filings. All filings must reference MB Docket No. 12-108. 

People with disabilities who need assistance to file comments online may request assistance by email to FCC504@fcc.gov.