The interior of an airplane cabin with seatback entertainment units illuminated
This week the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) reached an agreement with the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) that could have deep implications for video content providers. The notice of proposed rulemaking won’t be issued until July 2017, but the ACCESS Advisory committee, which includes disability advocacy organizations, airlines, aircraft manufacturers, and content providers, has been working on the recommendations it submitted to the DOT since April of 2016.
If the recommendations are followed, all new in-flight entertainment systems for new aircrafts or installed into existing models would be required to support closed captions and video description. For aircrafts that do not have accessible seatback entertainment systems, they must provide a personal entertainment device (PED) with accessible and comparable content. Wirelessly streaming that content to a passenger’s PED is an acceptable alternative.
Additionally, airlines will request that content providers deliver 100% of covered in-flight entertainment with closed captions and video description. This requirement will extend to edited versions.
CaptionMax can help content providers prepare their videos for delivery under these new requirements, whether they’re starting from scratch or have existing files. For current and new clients, we are able to convert file types or reformat closed captioning and video description files for any edited versions as needed.
Interior of a movie theater
Last week, the Department of Justice issued its final ruling on regulations for movie theaters showing digital films to provide closed captioning and video description. The rule amends Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits public accommodations from discriminating against individuals with disabilities, and will go into effect January 17, 2017.
The Department found that despite movie studios regularly providing closed captions and video description as a part of their Digital Cinema Package (DCP), they were not consistently made available at all theaters or showings to patrons who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, or low-vision.
In addition to requiring hardware acquisition, theaters will need to provide a minimum number of captioning and description devices for patrons. The minimum number of devices increases with the number of auditoriums per venue.
Compliance for theaters showing digital movies prior to the ruling must be met by June 2, 2018. At this time, no specific requirements are imposed for theaters that exclusively screen analog movies, however any theaters that convert from an analog to a digital projection system subsequent to the ruling must comply with these requirements by December 2, 2018 or within 6 months of the completed installation of the new system, whichever is later.
For producers looking to deliver a fully accessible DCP for their feature films, CaptionMax can provide a streamlined workflow for closed captioning and video description, including mixes for 5.1 surround sound. Adding these services can expand the potential reach of your content to approximately 50 million Americans who are deaf or blind, leading to larger crowds at the box office.
President Obama signs the CVAA into law
As 2017 draws near, so do the final captioning requirements for the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, or CVAA. Signed into law in 2010, CVAA video programming requirements were designed to keep content accessible to disabled users as new technologies and modes of distribution emerged.
Since January 1, 2016 it has been required that all IP-delivered “straight lift” clips, meaning a single excerpt of television that was broadcast with captions, must also be captioned, regardless of content length or type. ”Montages,” files containing multiple straight lift clips, will also required to be captioned beginning January 1, 2017.
Starting July 1, 2017, clips from live programming must be captioned. Unlike prerecorded material, live programming is permitted up to a 12-hour delay after airtime to post captioned clips with up to an 8-hour delay for near-live programming.
For programming that has already aired with captions, video programming distributors are required to post captioned clips of their content to their own websites or apps. However, at this time, these rules do not apply to third party websites or apps.
CaptionMax has helped many clients meet CVAA captioning requirements for IP-delivered clips. To learn more about how we can help your organization become compliant, contact your CaptionMax representative or firstname.lastname@example.org.