National Association of the Deaf

NAD Commends FCC for Reversing Angler's Order

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) commends the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for its October 20, 2011 order which overturns its decision in 2006 to grant nearly 300 captioning waivers to provide captioning on TV. This FCC decision is called the "Angler's Order."

In October 2006, the NAD and Consumer Groups  filed a "Review of the Bureau Order" and "Petition for Emergency Stay" with the FCC to reverse the "Angler's Order." Prior to the 2006 Angler's Order, the FCC had granted only three exemptions and only for a limited time (one to three years each). The FCC had established a process for requesting and granting requests for exceptions when closed captioning was an "undue burden" (too difficult or too expensive). That process includes public notice and an opportunity to comment.

However, the Telecommunications Act of 1996 required by January 2006 that the 100% television captioning benchmark be achieved. At the time of the benchmark, the FCC received over 500 requests for exemption from the closed captioning rules. Without public notice or comment, the FCC granted almost 300 of those requests. The FCC,