As of January 1, 2019, video game developers and publishers are now subject to certain accessibility requirements under the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) that apply to manufacturers and providers of advanced communications services (ACS). Games made available to the public prior to December 31, 2018 are not subject to the new requirements, even if they continue to be sold to the public after January 1, 2019. However, all games released on or after January 1, 2019, and all games released prior to that date that undergo future “substantial upgrades,” must comply with the ACS accessibility requirements.
Under the new rules, video games featuring ACS, such as in-game chat and texting, must be accessible to persons with disabilities. Video game developers and publishers are also required to keep records of their efforts to comply with the ACS accessibility requirements, including documentation of efforts to consult with members of the disability community, and they must submit annual recordkeeping compliance certifications to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the first of which is due for video game developers and publishers on April 1, 2020.
Click here to read the full update that provides a summary of ACS accessibility requirements and enforcement mechanisms, and offers video game developers and publishers best practice tips on how to facilitate ACS compliance.