[games_access] CVAA waiver expiry

John R. Porter jrporter at uw.edu
Wed Jun 10 15:22:48 EDT 2015


It's interesting that the waiver isn't being asked to apply to consoles
this time around. Does that sort of implicitly tell us that the rest of the
big 3 is planning on following in Sony's footsteps re: core accessibility
in console OSes? If not, one would think Microsoft & Nintendo would have
pressured the ESA to apply more broadly.




*-- -- -- -- --John R. Porter IIIwww.jrp3.net
<http://www.jrp3.net/>University of Washington,*
*Human Centered Design & Engineering*

On Wed, Jun 10, 2015 at 12:13 PM, Ian Hamilton <i_h at hotmail.com> wrote:

>  Sure, I hope this is clearer:
>
>  The USA has a law called CVAA, which requires communications technology
> and video technology to be accessible.
>
>  Several industries (including gaming) asked for a waiver, which means
> they asked for the law not to apply to them.
>
>  The ESA (USA games industry trade body) asked for an 8 year waiver.
> Instead, they were given a two year waiver, which runs out in October 2015.
> It covered game software, game consoles, and distribution platforms (Steam
> etc)
>
>  The ESA have now asked for another waiver, but this time only for games
> software.
>
>  So from October, the communication elements of distributors and consoles
> will be legally required to be accessible.
>
>  The FCC, who are the government body responsible for the CVAA laws,
> would like to receive comments from the public about the new game software
> waiver request.
>
>  No signature collection, they just want to get a good understanding of
> what the case for and against is.
>
>  The result will be either:
>
>  A. Communication in games will be required to be accessible, unless it
> can be proven to be too expensive, or the company has less than 30 people
>
>  B. Another temporary waiver will be granted, until January 2017
>
>  Ian
>
> ----- Reply message -----
> From: "Sandra_Uhling" <sandra_uhling at web.de>
> To: "'IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List'" <games_access at igda.org>
> Subject: [games_access] CVAA waiver expiry
> Date: Wed, Jun 10, 2015 18:15
>
>  Hi Ian,
>
>
>
> can you "translate" this is easy english?
>
> Is there a result that will be there or is there something people can
> collect signatures for?
>
> What is a waiver?
>
>
>
> Regards,
>
> Sandra
>
>
>
> *Von:* games_access [mailto:games_access-bounces at igda.org] *Im Auftrag
> von *Ian Hamilton
> *Gesendet:* Mittwoch, 10. Juni 2015 10:48
> *An:* games_access at igda.org
> *Betreff:* [games_access] CVAA waiver expiry
>
>
>
> 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:
>
>
>
> http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2015/db0609/DA-15-675A1.pdf
>
> <http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2015/db0609/DA-15-675A1.pdf>
>
>
>
> Ian
>
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>
>
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