May 17, 2022

Leading E-Reader Companies (Amazon, Kobo, Sony) Ask For Exemption From Certain Fed. Gov Accessibility Laws

Here’s a report from Laura Hazard-Owen at Gigaom.

We’re also sharing a link to a post with another interpretation of what’s going on from a well-known blogger who covers ebooks and e-readers.

Finally, we’ve solicited the views of others. We will update this post if/when we hear back.

Now, from Laura Hazard-Owen’s Gigaom Article:

Amazon, Kobo and Sony are petitioning the Federal Communications Commission to permanently exempt e-readers from certain federal accessibility laws for the disabled, arguing that e-readers are barebones devices designed for a single purpose: reading text.


Amazon, Kobo and Sony say that if they were forced to comply with FCC regulations and make e-readers fully accessible to people with disabilities, the essential nature of the devices would change, making them more like tablets, more expensive and, overall, less useful for their express purpose.


Amazon, Kobo and Sony, under the umbrella “Coalition of E-Reader Manufacturers” and represented by Covington & Burling, argue (petition embedded below) that e-readers should be exempt from two provisions in the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, which President Obama signed into law in 2010. The provisions require that “equipment used for advanced communications services [ACS], including end user equipment” be “accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities,” and the government can force manufacturers to comply.

Much more in the full Gigaom report.

Note: Nate Hoffelder at The Digital Reader has a different view/interpretation of this filing. You can read it here

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.