Office of the Texas Governor, Greg Abbott
Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Shares Resources on Accessible Televised Emergency Information
On March 13, 2020, a national emergency was declared concerning the coronavirus pandemic. FCC rules require televised emergency information to be accessible. In addition to the information previously provided by the Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities (GCPD), the FCC has provided some helpful resources about accessible televised emergency information.
What is Emergency Information?
Emergency information is intended to help protect life, health, safety or property. Examples include:
Community situations such as: pandemics, widespread power failures, industrial explosions, civil disorders, discharge of toxic gases, school closings and changes in school bus schedules resulting from such conditions.
Immediate weather situations: tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, tidal waves, earthquakes, icing conditions, heavy snows, widespread fires, warnings and watches of impending weather changes, and
Information about a current emergency that is intended to further the protection of life, health, safety and property must be provided visually and aurally, such as:
- Specific details regarding the areas that may be affected by the emergency
- Evacuation orders, detailed descriptions of areas to be evacuated and specific evacuation routes
- Approved shelters or the way to take shelter in one’s home
- Instructions on how to secure personal property
- Road closures
- How to obtain relief assistance
The FCC’s consumer guide to emergency information provides further detail on what qualifies as emergency information and ways to make this information accessible for people who have functional and access needs.
The FCC has highlighted other important emergency information resources, including:
- American Sign Language (ASL) video on accessible emergency information on television
Detailed Public Notice about the obligation to make televised emergency information accessible
Broadcasters should ensure their captioning of emergency broadcasts is carried through to streams on their websites
If you have specific complaints about accessibility, contact the FCC Disability Rights Office (DRO) at (202) 418-2518, (844) 432-2275 (ASL video support direct line), or via email. Complaints can also be filed online.
If you have specific complaints about accessibility, please contact DRO at (202) 418-2518 (voice), (844) 432-2275 (American Sign Language video support direct line), or [email protected] You may also file a complaint online.
For general information on access to emergency information on television, visit the FCC’s website. For specific questions, contact Debra Patkin, Attorney Advisor, DRO, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 870-5226 or via email.
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