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FCC Grants Accessibility Waiver for E-Readers

January 2014 — Following a petition filed by the Coalition of E-Reader Manufacturers, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a class waiver for basic e-readers from section 716, part 14 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended by the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA).  Part 14 of the FCC’s rules that require advanced communications services (ACS) and equipment be accessible to people with disabilities. The waiver is for a narrow class of e-readers with the following features:

  • The device has no LCD screen
  • The device has no Camera
  • The device is not offered with built-in email or other similar ACS applications
  • The device is marketed as a reading device and does not advertise the capability to access ACS

In granting the Coalition’s request, the FCC acknowledged that “this narrow class of e-readers is designed primarily for reading text-based digital works, not for ACS.” The waiver is set to expire on January 28, 2015.

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The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Technologies is sponsored by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under grant number 90RE5007-01-00. The opinions contained in this website are those of the Wireless RERC and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or NIDILRR.