On Tuesday, September 28, the House of Representatives passed S. 3304 and S. 3828, which collectively represent the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010. This legislation updates several elements of the Communications Act related to the accessibility of advance communications devices and services. It also implements changes to the closed captioning rules, expanding those for the first time to some video programming that is delivered over the Internet or though other IP-enabled delivery systems, and instructs the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to review and update its rules on emergency information to make such information more accessible to persons with disabilities. Finally, the Act directs the Commission to reinstate its video description rules originally adopted in 2000 and permits the FCC to update and expand those rules over time.
Both bills now will be presented to the president for his signature, and he is expected to sign them in the coming days. A copy of the final version of S. 3304 is available here (S. 3828, which makes several technical corrections to S. 3304, is available here.