A microphone pointing up and to the right. The letters AD that indicate audio description appear on the the bottom right.


The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is preparing a report to Congress to inform about the availability, use, benefits and cost of video description. The Commission is asking TV stations and broadcast networks, multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs), providers of video description, consumers of video description and anybody related to this topic to provide their feedback.

The deadline to provide comments is May 1, 2019.

It is worth remembering that, on July of last year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) increased the mandatory number of hours of video description that TV stations and networks had to provide.  Previously, the mandatory number of hours per quarter during prime time or children’s programming was 50.  Now, in addition to those 50 hours, the networks have to provide 37.5 hours per quarter between 6 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. For more information about this see our post Mandatory additional hours of video description on TV starting July.

It is very important that you, as a consumer of video description, provide feedback on its use and benefits. The FCC seeks comments on: 

- The extent to which both visually impaired and non-visually impaired consumers use video description services as well as the benefits to consumers of such services. It asks for data on the amount of video-described programming being watched by persons who are blind or visually impaired, members of their households, and other consumers.

- How consumers can access information about video-described programming. Specifically, the FCC seeks comments on methods used to inform consumers about availability of video description, such as websites, centralized program guides, and other information outlets, and on the effectiveness of their efforts to notify consumers about the availability of video-described programming.

- It seeks comments on how to calculate the value of video description to individuals who are blind or visually impaired, their family and friends, and other consumers.

- Video description is generally provided on the same secondary audio stream as other audio services such as foreign language audio tracks, and as a result, is sometimes not available due to conflict with these other uses. The FCC seeks comments on the extent to which there are developments in the marketplace that are enabling or will enable apparatus to handle more than two audio tracks.

Based upon the findings, conclusions, and recommendations in the report to Congress, the FCC could increase video description requirements for up to an additional 10 designated market areas each year starting after October 8, 2020. 

As a consumer, you have the opportunity to provide information that could affect video description regulation. Please send your comments using any of the following methods:

  • Electronically through https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filings/express.  Type "11-43" in "Proceedings," press Enter, then continue through the form.
  • By paper sending an original and one copy to FCC Headquarters at 445 12th Street, SW, Room TW-A325, Washington, DC 20554
  • Send your comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and the American Council of the Blind will file your comments on your behalf through Thursday, April 25.

To read more information about this FCC request for comments visit https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-19-40A1.pdf. The American Council for the Blind has also published a screen reader friendly version of that document at http://www.acb.org/adp/docs/FCC%20DA-19-40A1%20No%20Footnotes.pdf.



- "Media Bureau Seeks Comment on Recent Developments in the Video Description Marketplace to Inform Report to Congress." Federal Communications Commission, February 4, 2019, https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-19-40A1.pdf

- "FCC Seeks YOUR Input on "Video Description"." The Audio Description Project, http://www.acb.org/adp/


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