Larry Goldberg is the founder and director of the Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM) at Boston’s public broadcaster WGBH. For more than a decade he directed WGBH’s Media Access Group and its Caption Center and Descriptive Video Service and now focuses on research and development, public policy initiatives and strategic partnerships for global impact. He is a leader in the international effort to assure that the design and implementation of new technologies meet the needs of people with disabilities and other populations who lack access. He led development of the specifications for digital television closed captioning in the U.S. and was awarded a patent in 1996 for “Rear Window™,” the first closed-captioning system for movie theaters and theme parks. He has developed dozens of innovative R&D projects for full inclusion in such fields as online education and digital publishing, mobile devices and mobile media, in-flight entertainment, home media networks, Web-based media, theatrical motion pictures, museums and theme parks, and many others.
Larry regularly briefs Congressional and regulatory agencies on barriers and opportunities in new and emerging media. He consults and writes about the needs of people with disabilities for many publications and national advisory boards and served on the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Technological Advisory Council, its Consumer Advisory Committee and currently co-chairs its Video Programming Accessibility Advisory Committee.
Larry worked closely with Cong. Ed Markey (D-MA) and House and Senate staffers of the technology and telecommunications subcommittees, in a bipartisan effort to draft, negotiate and pass the “21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act,” which was signed into law by Pres. Obama in October of 2010. Under that law, which expands access to new and emerging digital media under regulations being written by the FCC, the Video Programming Accessibility Advisory Committee (VPAAC) was established at the FCC and Larry was named co-chair by Chairman Julius Genachowsky. The first act of the VPAAC was to issue recommendations for extending closed captioning to Internet-based media, which Larry and his working group delivered to the FCC ahead of deadline and which became the basis for the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and the subsequent rules, due in early January 2012.
Larry is regularly consulted by the White House Domestic Policy staff on matters pertaining to access to technology for persons with disabilities and helped establish a standing committee within the CIO Council of the United States government on accessible technology. At the beginning of the Obama Administration, Larry met with the new CTO of the U.S. (Aneesh Chopra) and the new CIO (Vivek Kundra) to brief them on issues of concern regarding inclusive technology policies and practices.
Larry also was involved in crafting and now proliferating the media and communications provisions of the United Nations Convention on Persons with Disabilities, adopted in December of 2006 and which has since been signed by 153 countries. Larry has consulted with governments and NGOs in Japan, Israel, Brazil, Mexico, India, the United Kingdom, Canada, Argentina and Russia. He was a member of the U.S. Access Board’s Electronic and Information Technology Access Advisory Committee (EITAAC) that established rules for federal compliance with Section 508 and its subsequent “Refresh Committee” which updated those rules. Larry works with technology companies such as Apple, Disney, Microsoft, Verizon, Panasonic, AT&T, Yahoo!, HP, Adobe, and others on solutions to meet the needs of consumers with disabilities. His undergraduate degree focused on Cinema Studies and Broadcast Journalism at University of Southern California.
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