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News for You

FCC’s Disability Rights Office Announces More Information about the Upcoming EAS Test

September 26, 2016
Source: Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in partnership with the FCC, will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) on September 28, 2016, at 2:20 PM EDT. If rescheduling is necessary, the alternate test date will take place on October 5, 2016. The purpose of this test is to assess the reliability, accessibility, and effectiveness of the EAS.

The EAS test is going to be transmitted through:

  • Radio broadcast stations;
  • Television broadcast stations:
  • Cable systems;
  • Wireline video systems;
  • Direct broadcast satellite service providers; and
  • Digital audio radio service providers.

The EAS test message will read as follows:

  • “This is a National Test of the Emergency Alert System. This is only a test. Broadcast and cable operators in your area have developed this system in voluntary cooperation with FEMA, the FCC and local authorities to keep you informed in the event of an emergency. If this had been an actual emergency an official message would have followed the alert tone. This concludes this National Test of the Emergency Alert System.”

The EAS test will address accessibility in the following ways:

  • The emergency test message will be transmitted in English and Spanish via audio and text, so that individuals with disabilities will have options in reading the message.
  • In addition to the EAS visual message being displayed in a manner that is consistent with the FCCs current rules (that is, at the top of the TV screen, or where it will not interfere with other visual messages), the message will be displayed in a size, color, contrast, location, and speed that is “readily readable and understandable
  • The EAS message will not contain overlapping lines of EAS text, and will not extend beyond the viewable display, except for crawls that intentionally scroll on and off the screen.

The FCC Public Safety Support Center welcomes your feedback on the accessibility of this test. If you observe any problems about this test, or have feedback about the test, please submit your comments at: https://www.fcc.gov/general/public-safety-support-center.

For more information, please contact Austin Randazzo, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, at (202) 418-1462 or Austin.Randazzo@fcc.gov. For those using videophones and fluent in American Sign Language, you may call the ASL Consumer Support Line at 844‐432‐2275.


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