Why Have a Caption Action 2?We are making a big push to get the 21st Century Act passed, because a similar Act was introduced last year but never made it out of committee. It didn't even get to the point of having a hearing. Representative Ed Markey re-introduced the bill in June 2009, giving us a second chance. For all we know, we might not get a third chance! So it is absolutely critical that the deaf and hard of hearing community and its hearing friends unite to get this bill passed.
What Can YOU Do?It is imperative that people write to their Congressional Representatives (to ask Representatives to cosponsor the bill) and write to Senators (to ask Senators to sponsor a similar bill) via the Internet. One thing that helps get a bill to move through Congress, is that Representatives and Senators cosponsor a bill. Last year, the previous version of the Act had only 15 cosponsors.
Read the COAT and National Association of the Deaf press releases about the 21st Century Act, to learn more. For convenience, reprinted below from the NAD press release is the key information about the Act as it pertains to online captioning:
Video Programming Access
- Requires closed captioning display capability in all video programming devices.
- Extends closed captioning obligations to television-type video programming distributed over the Internet (not user-generated content).
- Requires easy access to closed captions via remote control and on-screen menus, and requires easy access by blind people to television controls and program selection menus.
- Restores video description rules and requires access to televised emergency programming for people who are blind or have low vision.