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ACTION ALERT for DC, MD, VA: Come to the FCC Meeting and Learn about New Captioning Rules


Come to the FCC Open Meeting This Thursday
February 20, 2014 at 10:30am!
 Thank you in advance for your participation.
To all consumer advocates, professionals in deafness and hearing loss, and friends in the metro D.C. area,
This Thursday will be a SPECIAL day for us at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
The FCC will issue a Report and Order, a Declaratory Order, and a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on TV caption quality issues.  This official action is in response to two petitions filed by TDI, one in 2004 for caption quality, and another one in 2010 for 24-hour captioning, a mandate for captioned advertisements, and real-time captioning of local news, weather, and sports shows. These two petitions were filed jointly with the Commission by TDI and its sister consumer groups – National Association of the Deaf (NAD), Association of Late Deafened Adults (ALDA), Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), Deaf and Hard of Hearing Consumer Advocacy Network (DHHCAN), and American Association of the Deaf-Blind (AADB).
Can I ask you to do America a big SPECIAL favor?

For those of you in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, please come to the open Commission meeting this Thursday, February 20, 2013  It will start at 10:30 a.m. and should finish around 12:00 p.m.  The Commission’s headquarters is on 445 12th Street, SW, Washington, D.C. 20554.

If you come by car, there is a parking garage behind the FCC building.  The parking rate is $19 per day. There are other parking garages within two blocks from the FCC that charges about $10 per day, or you can use on-street parking for up to two hours.

If you come on Metro, get off from the Smithsonian station or L’Enfant Plaza station on the Blue/Orange line.

Be sure to arrive at the Commission building 30-45 minutes before the meeting starts at10:30 a.m. in order to get visitor’s badge and proceed through security.  The open Commission meeting is on the first floor.

If you come join us this Thursday at the FCC, will make a tremendous impression on the new Chairman of FCC, Mr. Tom Wheeler, and the four other Commissioners – Ms. Mignon Clyburn, Ms. Jessica Rosenworcel, Mr. Ajit Pai, and Mr. Michael O’Rielly.

Equally important, we give our deepest thanks and “pats on the back” to Ms. Karen Peltz Strauss, Mr. Greg Hlibok, and Mr. Eliot Greenwald with the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, FCC.  They have worked hard with the five-member Commission to make this initiative possible.

The FCC is making a big step forward for our two petitions.  After so many years, they have heard you and others loud and clear.  This historical, pivotal action at the FCC this Thursday promises much improvement in captions for our daily television viewing experience.  The details are not final but a few examples are as follows:

  1. The Commission is giving local TV stations in smaller markets a year to substantially improve their electronic newsroom technique (ENT) of captioningnews, weather, and sports..
  2. While local TV stations work to improve their offering of captioned local news via ENT, the Commission asks questions seeking more information as to whether the TV stations in smaller markets should continue using ENT or switch to  real-time captioning.
  3. The Commission will make clear that it expects higher quality captions for off-line (pre-recorded) programming, and as reasonably possible for live programming.
  4. The Commission asks whether it should require captioning of all advertisements on TV, as well as requiring all programs to have captions 24 hours a day.  Right now, advertisements under five minutes are not required to be captioned, and programs aired between two to six a.m. are usually not captioned.
  5. The Commission will coordinate more closely with industry on complaints that we file with them for erroneous captioning. This time, the FCC will implement enforcement action, only when there is a recurring violation of any one programmer’s responsibility to caption its program.
  6. Equally as important, the Commission will signal that it intends to review progress in captioning regularly from the industry, and that it will follow up with further action when there is lack of improvement over time with any one area of captioning.
My dear friends, will you sincerely heed my call for participation? Ask your boss at the workplace to excuse you for a couple hours, and join us at this historic Commission meeting. If you are retired, here is an opportunity for you to do something different!  If you can come help join us in this event, we would be deeply grateful, and I know Karen and Greg will feel the same, too.

Again, the FCC event is at 10:30 a.m. this Thursday, February 20, at 445 12th Street, SW, Washington, D.C.  Come by car or on Metro.

Let the FCC see a good crowd from the deaf and hard of hearing community.  The TV industry will realize we do make an important part of the market.  Come and let us show others what we are made of!  

Thanks for giving my request for your participation your full consideration.  All the help you can give, we would deeply appreciate it.

Please forward and distribute this info. to your other contacts.  Let us come in droves.  We can make an impressive turnout better than a flock of Canadian geese flying in a “V” formation!

See you this Thursday at the FCC!