Yingling, Valerie Vyingling at nfb.org
Fri Aug 30 16:18:24 UTC 2013

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 
<mailto:vyingling at nfb.org>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 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
<mailto:lmclarney at nfb.org>lmclarney at nfb.org

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