For Immediate Release
Clark Rachfal, [email protected]
WASHINGTON (Oct. 7, 2020) — The American Council of the Blind celebrates on this day the advocates, industry, and congressional leaders who participated in the passage and signing of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010. The CVAA, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama on October 8, 2010, remains one of the greatest legislative achievements for Americans who are blind and visually impaired in the digital age.
“Over the past decade, virtually every aspect of life has been impacted by the explosion of smart mobile communications,” said ACB President Dan Spoone. “Thanks to the CVAA, access to this smartphone revolution has been guaranteed for millions of Americans with disabilities.”
In addition to requiring smartphones be made accessible to consumers who are blind and visually impaired, the CVAA also created, for the first time, regulations that provide audio-described content on major broadcast and cable networks. As a further result of the law, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) established a Disability Advisory Committee (DAC), which continues to advise the FCC on measures intended to secure greater access across our nation’s telecommunications infrastructure.
“We commend ACB leaders such as our executive director Eric Bridges, Audio Description Project director Joel Snyder, project co-chairs Kim Charlson and Carl Richardson, and the countless number of advocates who collectively helped garner major support from industry and Congress in order to create a truly bipartisan legislative victory,” President Spoone added. “Together, they embraced ACB’s core value of collaboration, which has resulted in some of ACB’s strongest relationships over the past decade.”
The CVAA stands as a testament to the power that comes when industry and advocates join together in a collaborative spirit. ACB looks forward to working with industry over the next decade to identify additional ways we can enhance the quality of life and inclusion for Americans with disabilities in this digital age.
The American Council of the Blind is a national grassroots consumer organization representing Americans who are blind and visually impaired. With 68 state and special-interest affiliates, ACB works to increase the independence, security, equal opportunity and quality of life for Americans who are blind and visually impaired. Learn more at www.acb.org.