Online Video Accessibility in 2013 — How to Comply

by Byron Kahr

220px-Closed_captioning_symbol.svgEstimates suggest that more than 35 million Americans suffer from some form of hearing loss. A dense, detailed body of law has long required television broadcasters and manufacturers to provide captioning functionality so that this substantial segment of the public is not deprived of access to a core dimension of American life.

The rules that will govern access for the disabled in the era of online rich media distribution, however, are just beginning to emerge. Indeed, 2012 saw a flurry of new regulations, litigation, and policy statements addressing online video accessibility requirements – including a path-breaking federal court decision involving Netflix’s “Watch Instantly” streaming service. 2013 promises an even greater pace of change, as new FCC online video captioning regulations take effect and online video distributors of all shapes, types, and sizes move to comply. While the law governing online video accessibility may be in a state of flux, the trend is undeniably toward requiring that all video content distributed over the Internet be made accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing through the provisioning of closed captions. (Who exactly bears the primary responsibility for meeting this requirement – content owners, website operators, device makers or all of the above – remains a matter of debate.)149706385955609414

On February 7, 2013, Kaltura offered a live webinar, now available on-demand, surveying the current state of the law, while offering insight into where it appears to be heading. The webinar addresses the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (a new statute that President Obama signed into law in 2010), the Americans with Disabilities Act, and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, which, together, comprise the vast majority of the law governing streaming video accessibility. What do these laws, and new court decisions and regulations interpreting them, mean for broadcasters, educational institutions, new media companies, government agencies, and other entities that rely on online video? And how to approach compliance in a changing regulatory environment?

Our on-demand webinar discusses the available solutions and best practices, Watch it now!

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