Michael Hingson info at michaelhingson.com
Fri Aug 30 20:21:38 UTC 2013



I hope all of us can take the time to respond to this important issue.
Please read about the attempt by eBook reader manufacturers to get
themselves exempt from making their products accessible.  We can make a
difference.  Please take time this weekend to help.  Thanks. 






Michael Hingson


From: Nfbnet-members-list [mailto:nfbnet-members-list-bounces at nfbnet.org] On
Behalf Of Yingling, Valerie (by way of David Andrews <dandrews at visi.com>)
Sent: Friday, August 30, 2013 09:18 AM
To: nfbnet-members-list at nfbnet.org
Subject: [Nfbnet-members-list] URGENT: WE NEED LETTERS TO MAKE E-READERS


This letter was originally sent to the legislative directors but we are
circulating it to the entire membership for maximum outreach:
We need your help!  The Coalition of E-Reader Manufacturers has submitted a
Petition for Waiver to the FCC asking that e-readers be exempt from the
Twenty First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA)
accessibility requirements.  I have attached the Petition.  NFB has written
comments opposing the request, and we are asking other groups to sign on.  I
have also attached those comments.  But the FCC needs to hear from our
members - blind people who want access to e-readers - and the more people
they hear from, the better.  We are asking all Legislative Directors to find
people in their respective affiliates to edit the attached skeleton letter
and return it to us.  The letter is already formatted and has an outline,
but it is up to each person to make it personal and select which talking
points they want to use.  Finished letters should be sent to Valerie
Yingling at vyingling at nfb.org by 8pm on Monday, September 2.  Valerie will
proofread each document to make sure there are no typos and the customized
points are still on message, and then we will submit the letters all at once
when they are due on September 3rd.  We are short on time but I trust that
this issue is pressing to our membership and we will get a good amount of
For some background:  The CVAA requires that all mobile devices with
advanced communications services (ACS) be accessible to blind people, but
the law allows manufacturers to request a waiver for equipment that is not
intended for ACS.  The Coalition (comprised of Amazon, Sony and Kobo) claims
that the primary purpose of e-readers is reading, and that the ACS found in
e-readers is so incidental and ancillary that it is not an intended purpose
of the device.  We know this is not true - e-readers are outfitted with
built-in web browsers and designed for social media.  The Coalition also
claims that to make e-readers accessible would require a fundamental
overhaul that would render e-readers obsolete, harm the public interest, and
not provide substantial benefit to blind people.  We know that this
offensive claim is also not true.  It is critical that the FCC hear from all
of us - it is the only thing that can defeat the petition.  Regulation is
legislation's sister, so I know we can count on all of you to get a good
amount of feedback to the FCC.  If you have any questions, don't hesitate to
email me or Valerie.   Looking forward to seeing everyone's letters.  
Lauren McLarney
Government Affairs Specialist
200 East Wells St.
Baltimore, MD 21230
(410) 659 9314 ext. 2207
lmclarney at nfb.org

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