The 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) promotes equitable use for people with disabilities and strives to ensure equal access to communication services and video programming.
Under the CVAA, advanced communications services and products must be accessible to people with disabilities. This includes, for example, video communications, e-mail, text and instant messaging. T
he CVAA requires that web browsers on mobile devices be accessible to people who have visual impairments, including people who are blind.
Another component of CVAA, the Hearing Aid Compatibility Mandate, requires that certain devices be hearing-aid compliant; this includes wireless headphones and telephones in the workplace and in the public, as well as emergency phones. The definition of Telecommunication Relay Service was also updated to include people who are deaf-blind and to acknowledge and allow a different type of relay users to communicate.
The CVAA also focuses on the accessibility of video programming, which has a direct bearing on website accessibility for individuals with disabilities. The Law states that certain Multichannel Video Programming Distributors (MVPD) and broadcasters have to provide a specified 50 hours of programming with video description during primetime for each calendar quarter.
The CVAA also requires that people with disabilities have access to emergency information and closed captioning through “video programming equipment” and devices that measure smaller than 13 inches.