[Nfbaz-news] NFB needs your action to help make e-readers accessible

Bob Kresmer krezguy at cox.net
Fri Aug 30 16:59:18 UTC 2013

August 30, 2013 
>From our NFB national office - 
(If you need help in complying with this request, please contact Donald
Porterfield, our NFBA legislative director at - 

donaldpfield at gmail.com

We need your urgent
 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.   NFB has written comments opposing the request, and we are
asking other groups to sign on.  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 letters.  

For some background:  the Twenty First Century Communications and Video
Accessibility Act (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

Bob Kresmer, president NFBA 
Toll free (888) 899-6322 

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