Ed Markey (D-MA) may have given up his chairmanship of the House Communications Subcommittee, but that hasn’t diminished his interest in communications legislation. He is now trumpeting the fact that his 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act is about to be signed into law. The NCRA is also excited about seeing the bill become a law.
According to Markey’s staff, the bill “…will enable Americans with disabilities to access a wide range of devices and services needed to operate and thrive in the digital era, including smart phones, Internet video through captioning of online programming, audio descriptions of television programming, emergency alerts and other technologies.”
Markey will be joining President Barack Obama at a White House signing ceremony Friday 10/8/10.
The NCRA is the National Court Reporters Association, and its ultra high-speed-typing membership has a long history working on close captioning to make sure audio content is made available to deaf and hearing-impaired citizens.
“Most people don’t think twice about how closed captioning of live events takes place,” said NCRA exec Melanie Humphrey-Sonntag. “They might be in a restaurant or an airport and see text appearing across the bottom of a television monitor during a live newscast or sports program. They never have to think about the fact that somewhere those words are transformed from speech to text by human beings. And those human beings are realtime court reporters.”