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We have an insatiable appetite for video content – it’s everywhere!
Unfortunately, not everyone is able to access the video content they’re interested in, which is where the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) comes into play.
When web accessibility first became a hot topic, there wasn’t nearly as much content available online as there is today. It’s for this reason that creators of audio-video content now need to take accessibility into account.
In this guide, we take you through the specifics of the CVAA, how it applies to your organization, and what steps you can take to comply.
CVAA, or the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act came into effect in late 2010. The act ensures that those with disabilities have equal access to the latest communications technology.
CVAA mainly covers the following areas:
It also applies to the devices that deliver this type of content and services.
The 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act is made up of two Titles:
Covers video programming services specifically as well as the equipment that needs to be made accessible to users with disabilities.
It should also be noted that because the CVAA adds to and amends existing laws, any claims are first processed by the FCC.
If your organization develops web-based videos originally captioned on TV or if you offer Advanced Communication Services (ACS) such as instant messaging or email to the general public, CVAA applies to you.
The act does not apply to user-generated video content such as the videos you would find on YouTube.
Along with video content and ACS, CVAA also touches on how audiovisual interfaces also need to be accessible.
The first step in CVAA compliance is to be aware of the act’s requirements. You will then need technical assistance to take the necessary measures to comply.
The 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act requires each of your services and any interface required to operate or access each service to be accessible to the following groups:
To make the CVAA compliance process easier, create a list of existing audio-visual content that you know needs to be made accessible. Start with the content that’s accessed most often.
After attending to any audio-visual content, it’s also essential to ensure that any interface that will be used to access the content is compatible with assistive technology.
Now that we have touched on CVAA compliance for audio-visual content, let’s touch on Advanced Communication Services.
Here are some of the CVAA requirements you should be aware of if you offer services such as email, text messages, or instant messaging.
While this is not a legal requirement, keeping a record of the steps you have taken to be CVAA compliant will make it easier to deal with any concerns that are raised.
You can even publish an accessibility statement on your website that everyone can access. This statement should include the steps you have taken to make your audio-visual content and services accessible, what you are still working on, and who can be contacted about accessibility issues.
You may also be wondering why you should take the time to achieve CVAA compliance. Here are just some of the ways that it can benefit your organization:
There you have it, everything you need to know about the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act and how it applies to your business.
Taking the time to make your content and services more accessible is well worth the effort. Not only does your business benefit but you’re doing your part to create a more inclusive society for all.
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