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FCC Second Report To Congress on TV Description

In 2019, the FCC requested comments from consumers and industry on the state of "video description" in the USA.  There were surprisingly few responses:  three from industry, two from consumer groups (including the ACB), and 34 consumers (all of whom are named at the end of the report).  Thank you if your name is on that list.

While the report is far too detailed to summarize fully here, we especially appreciate the comment that "both consumer and industry commenters identify the ADP as a key resource for aggregating and updating an online database of all available video-described content in the United States"!  That would be our Master AD List, which has just exceeded 3000 titles. 

Here is a slightly edited summary of the FCC Report's Conclusions:

"The record demonstrates that there has been significant progress in the types and amount of video-described programming available, and that consumers would benefit from continued increases.  Consumers who are blind or visually impaired derive significant benefit from the use of video description, as detailed in the record, and commenters indicate that technological developments should improve the availability of accurate information about what programming contains video description, as well as the current tension between whether Spanish-language programming or video description should be provided on a single available secondary audio stream...  Although consumers seek expansion of the video description requirements to [markets] outside the top 60, the record does not contain conclusive information as to whether the costs of such an expansion would be reasonable.  The record also demonstrates that most VOD [Video On Demand] programming and online programming currently does not include video description, potentially due to current technical limitations.  We will continue to monitor marketplace developments regarding video description, including for online programming, and we hope that industry will take the initiative to provide more video-described programming, including online and on-demand, even where it is not required to do so."

Read the full Commission Report

(Posted Oct 10, 2019)