In 2010, President Obama enacted the Communications and Video Accessibility Act CVAA, a law meant to ensure people with disabilities weren’t left behind as technology progressed in the digital age. Among other rules, the law required programming captioned on TV also be captioned when delivered via IP, or online. The FCC set benchmarks to ensure a steady roll-out of the law, and most provisions are currently in place, with the exception of “clips.”
The CVAA applies to programming that is captioned on TV. Any programming captioned on TV must be captioned when delivered via Internet Protocol (IP). This includes delivery to a personal computer, tablet device, cellular phone, game console, or streaming device like Apple TV, Roku, or Amazon Fire. Platforms or providers include YouTube, iTunes®, Netflix®, Amazon®, Crackle, and YaVeo™, among others. All captions must be of the same quality as those provided on TV (in other words, IP programming is subject to the same caption quality rules as TV programming).
Through January 1, 2016, this rule applies only to full-length programming, not “clips.” In January 2016, the rules start to apply to “clips,” and different clips must be captioned at different times:
Other Online Video:
“Online only” video is more popular and prevalent than ever. Though the creators of this content are not required by the FCC to caption content, many video platforms and streaming providers require their video be delivered with captions. This applies to all content delivered to Netflix® and iTunes® currently.