Getting More From Television for Low Vision Customers

Starting July 1, the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act requires cable operators, satellite companies and the like to provide at least 200 hours per year of programming with video descriptions of programs originated by the four major broadcast networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox) and the top five Nielsen-rated cable networks (e.g., USA, Disney Channel, TNT, Nickelodeon and TBS). This works out to roughly 4 hours each week of prime-time and/or children’s programming (shows for kids 16 or younger).

The descriptions will let television viewers who are blind or have vision loss know what is happening on screen when characters are not speaking. They will be audible only to viewers who request them and they’ll be wedged in between moments when there is no dialogue on screen.

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