Just announced: Level Access and eSSENTIAL Accessibility agree to merge! Read more.

In 2010, Congress commemorated the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act with its passage of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (“CVAA”) to ensure that 57 million Americans with disabilities have access to the innovative communications technologies of the 21st century. Recognizing that the communications marketplace has undergone a “fundamental transformation,” Congress sought to make broadband enabled advanced communications services (ACS)—such as email, texts, and video conferencing—accessible to persons with disabilities. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), charged with implementing these statutory directives, adopted rules phasing in accessibility requirements for ACS over 2 years and reinvigorating existing rules governing telecommunications carriers and VoIP providers through recordkeeping obligations and heightened enforcement standards and penalties. The FCC’s performance standards apply to ACS introduced or substantially modified on or after October 8th of this year. The FCC rules extend to the services and equipment, the information necessary to use the services and equipment and the customer support for the services and equipment.