FCC Issues Reminder to Make Televised Emergency Information Accessible to Viewers with Disabilities




Office of the Texas Governor, Greg Abbott

Governor's Committee on People with Disabilities


FCC Issues Reminder to Make Televised Emergency Information Accessible to Viewers with Disabilities


On August 30, 2019, the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau released a Public Notice reminding video programming distributors— including broadcasters, cable operators, and satellite television services that deliver programming directly to the home— of their obligation to make televised emergency information accessible to persons who are blind, visually impaired, deaf, or hard of hearing. 

This Public Notice also provides information for consumers about where they can find more information on access to televised emergency information— including an American Sign Language video— and how to file complaints when televised emergency information is not accessible. 

For more information about accessible televised emergency information, visit: https://www.fcc.gov/general/access-emergency-information-television.  For specific questions, please contact Debra Patkin, Attorney Advisor, Disability Rights Office, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, at (202) 870-5226 or Debra.Patkin@fcc.gov.  TTY users may call the FCC’s TTY number at (888) 835-5322.

A disaster can strike at any time. In Texas, the Division of Emergency Management provides the Effective Communications Toolkit as a resource to assist in making emergency information accessible to everyone. This toolkit is designed for emergency management and public information professionals who work with local jurisdictions to communicate warnings, notifications, and other messages to news media and the public. It also contains face-to-face operational communication tools for shelter managers and first responders. The goal of the toolkit is to help ensure emergency communications services and equipment address the functional and access needs of people with disabilities as part of the Whole C approach endorsed by FEMA. The toolkit can also provide critical information to first responders and emergency managers on how to interact with people with disabilities, and how to identify disability leaders in local communities.