[games_access] CVAA waiver expiry

Tara Voelker tvoelker at igda-gasig.org
Wed Jun 10 17:43:26 EDT 2015


I think it's really part of the consoles push to be more than just game consoles and  become full entertainment one stop shops. With so many people using their consoles primarily for video streaming (Netflix, Hulu, HBOGO), it's harder to make the case they should get a waiver. 

That being said, I am surprised Nintendo isn't making more of a fuss, because they are more games than video. 

Sent from my iPhone

> On Jun 10, 2015, at 12:22 PM, John R. Porter <jrporter at uw.edu> wrote:
> 
> 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 III
> 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  
>> 
>>  
>> 
>> Ian
>> 
>> 
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> 
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