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Emergency Alerts for August 11 Must Be Accessible

Nationwide tests of the EAS (Emergency Alert System) and WEA (Wireless Emergency Alert) Systems scheduled for August 11 at 2:20 pm EDT must be accessible to individuals with visual or hearing impairments, according to the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau of the FCC. This applies to television broadcast stations, cable systems, video systems, and direct broadcast satellite (DBS) entities for EAS alerts and to participating commercial mobile services providers for the WEA test. The EAS message transmission will begin with the phrase “THIS IS A TEST of the National Emergency Alert System.” FCC rules “ensure that individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing and individuals who are blind or visually impaired have full access to EAS messages…” Specific guidelines are included as well, in terms of features such as audio, contrast and font size. More information is available from tvtech. The official public notice on accessibility can be found on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) website.