Amazon accused of noncompliance with video captioning rules

Deaf and hard of hearing consumer groups accuse Amazon of not captioning streaming videos in compliance with the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act

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Despite the overall good news, the researchers found that Amazon “consistently failed to include captions as soon as programs were initially made available for IP delivery.” Over the course of a month in which they specifically monitored Amazon’s offerings, they found that, initially, two-thirds of their programming that was subject to the CVAA captioning rules were not in compliance. While they did see improvement in compliance over the course of the month, the time lag in offering captions after a video was first available for streaming on Amazon was still significant, with a median time of 2.5 days and a maximum of 20 days.

Based on these findings, the complaint subsequently filed with the FCC against Amazon alleges “a pattern of willful and brazen noncompliance”. The noncompliance is interpreted as willful due to an earlier request by Amazon (along with a number of other distributors) to delay implementation of the CVAA rules. The complaint asks the FCC to impose financial penalties and to require Amazon to immediately comply with the CVAA.

I reached out to Amazon for a comment about the complaint shortly after it was filed, but have not received a response. 

Are you deaf or hard of hearing and watch TV or movies online? If so, what provider or service do you use? What’s your experience with online video captioning since the end of September? Please share in the comments.

Related reading For some with disabilities, gaming fills a basic need | From Julia Child to mobile devices: How one group cooks up accessible media technology

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