FCC Requests Public Comments on Accessibility Waiver for E-Readers

By Renee Dopplick, ACM Director of Public Policy
August 23, 2013

The FCC is accepting public comments on a request by the Coalition of E-Reader Manufacturers to exempt e-readers from accessibility requirements applicable to “advanced communications services” under the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) and its implementing regulations. The deadline for public comments is September 3, 2013.

Congress passed the CVAA to help ensure that people with disabilities are able to utilize the Internet-based communications technologies of the 21st century, including mobile devices and technologies. Advanced communications services include interconnected VoIP services, non-interconnected VoIP services, electronic messaging services, and interoperable video conferencing services.

The law allows the FCC to waive the accessibility requirements for features, functions, or classes of equipment designed primarily for purposes other than using advanced communications services. Here, the Coalition states that “e-readers are devices designed, built, and marketed for a single primary purpose: to read written materials such as books, magazines, newspapers, and other text documents on a mobile electronic device.”

For more information, see the FCC announcement: