TDI filed a comment to the Federal Communications Commission’s Public Notice and Notice of Inquiry. This comment concerns the improvement of the clarity and accessibility of the visual and auditory messages in the Emergency Alert System (EAS).
Emergency Alert System
We supported the Commission’s actions in providing additional steps ensuring that EAS is accessible for all Americans. This includes the consumers with disabilities.
First, the Commission plans to clarify the message by having the national alerts add a simple link to a website with information along with a qualified ASL interpreter to guide and provide information easy to understand for people with disabilities.
Second, the EAS visual messages should be attention-grabbing while keeping information readable for consumers. For instance, they could add auditory and visual messages such as flashing lights and sounds to notify consumers of incoming EAS alerts.
Third, the EAS visual messages should have the same information as EAS audio messages. “Requiring that visual information be identical to auditory information in EAS messages would help promote equal access for all members of the public to critically important EAS messages in times of crisis.”
Fourth, CAP-based EAS messages should not have additional delays. The consumers should receive legacy and CAP-based messages at the same time instead of receiving them at different times.
Fifth, EAS should be equally accessible to users of streaming services. We asked the Commission to consider pushing the EAS tests and alerts through the streaming services since there is a growing number of deaf and hard of hearing consumers that use the streaming services more than traditional cable or satellite television.
Sixth, legacy alerts must have captions while using human-generated captions to match the audio segment in EAS tests and alerts. Automated Speech Recognition (ASR) is not recommended because it will not include the names of towns or cities implied in the alerts. This information is very important for the effective use of the EAS and for people who rely on visual messages. In addition, visual messages should not have captions that overlap the parts of the visual messages.
Next Steps for Emergency Alert System
For more information about TDI’s filing addressing the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Notice of Inquiry on the Emergency Alert System (“EAS”), visit the filing and full list of signatories at the following link: https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-seeks-improve-accessibility-clarity-emergency-alerts-0
PS 15-94 — Emergency Alert System;
TDI. AccesSOS, Association of Late Deafened Adults (ALDA), Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD), Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf (CEASD), Deaf Seniors of America (DSA), Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), Helen Keller National Center for DeafBlind Youths and Adults (HKNC), National Association of State Agencies of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (NASADHH), National Association of the Deaf (NAD), Northern Virginia Resource Center (NVRC), Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID), RIT/NTID Center on Access Technology (CAT).
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