Connecting all Americans to broadband

Closing the broadband gap is an essential policy goal. Image from The Guardian.

Broadband access enables individuals to participate in a connected society and has been transforming lives with easier access to virtually everything from health care and education to farming operations and government services. Yet even though being connected to the broadband seems an imperative goal for today’s society, not all Americans are able to enjoy its economic and social benefits. In ... Read More »

(Bene)tech as a leveler

3D printer in action

Disability issues are a third rail in our public discourse. To “de-electrify” this rail is no simple task. It requires us to be critical of our own predilections and instincts. Here’s the problem: We’re human. Humans are reflexively disconcerted by what we perceive as an aberration from the norm. For this reason, we celebrate difference in the abstract, but are ... Read More »

ALA opposes e-book accessibility waiver petition

ALA and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) renewed their opposition to a petition filed by the Coalition of E-book Manufacturers seeking a waiver from complying with disability legislation and regulation (specifically Sections 716 and 717 of the Communications Act as Enacted by the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010). Amazon, Kobo, and Sony are the members ... Read More »

FCC makes “close call” in issuing e-reader waiver

To the disappointment of the American Library Association and a range of advocates for people with disabilities, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has granted a one-year waiver to the E-reader Coalition–Amazon, Sony and Kobo–to the Commission’s rules for Access to Advanced Communications and Services (ACS) for People with Disabilities. The Coalition argued that their e-readers were made for the sole ... Read More »

Could we have a splash of color? Two primary themes of another Dark Gray Suit Meeting on Copyright

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is an agency of the Department of Commerce. So it is no surprise that the USPTO-sponsored public meeting on the Department’s “green paper” (pdf)–“Copyright Policy, Creativity and Innovation in the Digital Economy” was primarily about the market for digital goods. The all-day meeting was organized around six topics that the Commerce Department’s ... Read More »