You may have heard that a coalition of e-reader manufacturers consisting of Amazon, Kobo and Sony, filed a petition requesting the FCC waive the rule requiring e-readers to have text to speech capabilities.
The FCC has made a decision and the National Federation for the Blind has shared the following:
The FCC issued its final order on the e-book reader waiver petition this week. They granted the waiver, but limited it to only one year despite the e-book reader coalition’s request for an indefinite waiver. Our collective opposition efforts had much to do with this overall very good result, as you will see in the order (attached and links below). A summary of the FCC’s decision is excerpted below:“We grant a waiver from the Commission’s ACS rules for the class of “basic e-readers,” as defined herein, until January 28, 2015. We limit the term of the waiver to one year from the expiration of the temporary waiver, rather than grant the Coalition’s request for an indefinite waiver. We believe that, given the swift pace at which e-reader and tablet technologies are evolving and the expanding role of ACS in electronic devices, granting a waiver beyond this period is outweighed by the public interest and congressional intent to ensure that Americans with disabilities have access to advanced communications technologies.”Links to the Order:Word: http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-14-95A1.docxPDF: http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-14-95A1.pdfText: http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-14-95A1.txt