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PART 79--ACCESSIBILITY OF EMERGENCY INFORMATION

Current through February 18, 2004

§ 79.2 Accessibility of programming providing emergency information.

(a) Definitions.

(1) For purposes of this section, the definitions in §§ 79.1 and 79.3 apply.

(2) Emergency information. Information, about a current emergency, that is intended to further the protection of life, health, safety, and property, i.e., critical details regarding the emergency and how to respond to the emergency. Examples of the types of emergencies covered include tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, tidal waves, earthquakes, icing conditions, heavy snows, widespread fires, discharge of toxic gases, widespread power failures, industrial explosions, civil disorders, school closings and changes in school bus schedules resulting from such conditions, and warnings and watches of impending changes in weather.

Note to paragraph (a)(2): Critical details include, but are not limited to, specific details regarding the areas that will be affected by the emergency, evacuation orders, detailed descriptions of areas to be evacuated, specific evacuation routes, approved shelters or the way to take shelter in one's home, instructions on how to secure personal property, road closures, and how to obtain relief assistance.

(b) Requirements for accessibility of programming providing emergency information.

(1) Video programming distributors must make emergency information, as defined in paragraph (a) of this section, accessible as follows:

(i) Emergency information that is provided in the audio portion of the programming must be made accessible to persons with hearing disabilities by using a method of closed captioning or by using a method of visual presentation, as described in § 79.1 of this part;

(ii) Emergency information that is provided in the video portion of a regularly scheduled newscast, or newscast that interrupts regular programming, must be made accessible to persons with visual disabilities; and

(iii) Emergency information that is provided in the video portion of programming that is not a regularly scheduled newscast, or a newscast that interrupts regular programming, must be accompanied with an aural tone.

(2) This rule applies to emergency information primarily intended for distribution to an audience in the geographic area in which the emergency is occurring.

(3) Video programming distributors must ensure that:

(i) Emergency information should not block any closed captioning and any closed captioning should not block any emergency information provided by means other than closed captioning; and

(ii) Emergency information should not block any video description and any video description provided should not block any emergency information provided by means other than video description.

(c) Complaint procedures. A complaint alleging a violation of this section may be transmitted to the Commission by any reasonable means, such as letter, facsimile transmission, telephone (voice/TRS/TTY), Internet e-mail, audio- cassette recording, and Braille, or some other method that would best accommodate the complainant's disability. The complaint should include the name of the video programming distributor against whom the complaint is alleged, the date and time of the omission of emergency information, and the type of emergency. The Commission will notify the video programming distributor of the complaint, and the distributor will reply to the complaint within 30 days.




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last reviewed/updated on 9/7/2006 


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