[games_access] CVAA waiver expiry

Ian Hamilton i_h at hotmail.com
Wed Jun 10 04:47:52 EDT 2015

The games industry currently has a waiver from the USA's pretty stringent video and communications accessibility laws. That waiver is is due to expire in October. Another waiver request has now been made.
Personally I'd like to see a waiver for games, as a blanket law mandating e.g. blind accessibility across all games that require communication wouldn't do anyone any favours.
However, the request is recycling the same argument from last time about the primary function of games not being communication. That seems pretty risky, as the FCC said pretty clearly last time that they don't buy that argument, on the basis of how many people with disabilities got in touch to tell them how much they relied on the communication elements of gaming for social inclusion etc.
But that aside, the real news is that it's partial. The original waiver was grated for three classes: consoles, distribution platforms, and games. A waiver renewal is not being sought for consoles and distribution platforms, only games. 
So as of October, consoles and distribution platforms will be covered by the CVAA, and have to meet some pretty thorough accessibility requirements to avoid excluding people from video and communications.
Either way, the FCC is looking for public feedback:
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