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Accessibility: Definition, Labeling, and CVAA Impact

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Recent Advances in Technologies for Inclusive Well-Being

Part of the book series: Intelligent Systems Reference Library ((ISRL,volume 119 ))


This contribution is timely as it addresses accessibility in regards system hardware and software aligned with introduction of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) and adjoined game industry waiver that comes into force January 2017. This is an act created by the USA Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to increase the access of persons with disabilities to modern communications, and for other purposes. The act impacts advanced communications services and products including text messaging; e-mail; instant messaging; video communications; browsers; game platforms; and games software. However, the CVAA has no legal status in the EU. This text succinctly introduces and questions implications, impact, and wider adoption. By presenting the full CVAA and game industry waiver the text targets to motivate discussions and further publications on the subject that could significantly impact industries targeted by this volume (In citing the CVAA the author does not posit himself as a specific expert in the act or field—reference is made to awaken discussions to the important issues surrounding accessibility and inclusion.).

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Federal Communications Commission (FCC); Pan-European Game Information (PEGI) organization; The Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE); NICAM (Netherlands Institute for the Classification of Audiovisual Media); The Video Standards Council (VSC), United Kingdom; AbleGamers Charity.

Disclaimer: The need to include text extracted from publicly available materials from those acknowledged above has been permitted via communication with the source. Wherever possible link and citation is given, however, the author wishes the fact known due to the form of this document and appendixes, which share in full the CVAA and waiver. Direct text is true to source (e.g. US/UK English, punctuations, and emphasis), and considered required in an attempt to minimize third-party (this author) interpreted loss of meaning.

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Correspondence to Anthony Brooks .

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Appendix 1

The following pages shares the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA), which is a matter of public record. The full text is included herein for direct reference for readers of the non-digital version of this chapter. Permission to use was received from The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) representative Sherita Kennedy dated Monday 22 August 2016 at 17:54 following personal communication requesting authorised approval for use. FCC is an independent U.S. government agency overseen by Congress that regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories. The commission is the United States’ primary authority for communications laws, regulation and technological innovation. Web site for more information is

Requested citation by FCC is hereunder stated:

Pub. L. No. 111–260, 124 Stat. 2751 (2010)(S. 3304, 111th Cong.)(as codified in various sections of 47 U.S.C.). See also Amendment of Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Pub. L. 111–265, 124 Stat. 2795 (2010)(S. 3828, 111th Cong.), making technical corrections to the CVAA.

Appendix 2

A waiver extension was granted until January 2017 specific to video game software. Video Game Software is defined with sufficient specificity and shares enough common defining characteristics to be granted a class waiver that will enable platform providers and video game publishers “to continue jointly exploring novel accessibility solutions—including solutions that will facilitate access to ACS—in video game products and services.Footnote 54 P. 10022

Further to the above—On October 19, 2016, ESA filed a petition requesting an extension of the waiver for video game software for an additional 12 months—until January 1, 2018.

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Brooks, A. (2017). Accessibility: Definition, Labeling, and CVAA Impact. In: Brooks, A., Brahnam, S., Kapralos, B., Jain, L. (eds) Recent Advances in Technologies for Inclusive Well-Being. Intelligent Systems Reference Library, vol 119 . Springer, Cham.

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