@21 ethin you really have the wrong end of the stick. those 'number of successes' you're referring to are actually the number of times that companies have been reported and then fixed their products. that is a number that was shared by the FCC, in this conference talk, please please watch it -


The number of people who have been reported and then fixed their products is a very very different thing to the number of companies who have made changes to their products without having to be reported. I'm aware of numerous companies in the games industry who are in the process of doing this, and yes they absolutely are under NDA.

Also as far as 'only big companies like microsoft and valve' - the issue is more one of awareness in small companies that don't have legal teams on the case. But to be honest I think there are plenty of people would be over the moon if even just the products of those two companies that you mentioned - microsoft's first party studios and steam - were to make progress on accessibility.

I wouldn't for a second pretend that legislation is the cure for all ills, I'm not even particularly a fan of legislation.

However to hopefully give you just a little faith that this kind of thing can actually make a difference, I have a quick question for you.

Do you remember when exactly playstation and xbox gained text to speech for blind gamers, with the first release of that functionality in both cases being specifically for the communications functionality of the consoles, with initial release only in the USA? Playstation was April 2015:

https://blog.us.playstation.com/2015/03 … -detailed/

Xbox was October 2015:


CVAA deadline for communication functionality on consoles in the USA was October 2015:

http://www.interactiveaccessibility.com … z3fD9JKjDc

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please tell them to make discord web accessible too

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28 (edited by Ethin 2018-07-05 20:28:06)

@26, that does not mean that CVAA forced Microsoft's hand to make it accessible. CVAA hasn't done shit or I guarantee you I would've heard of it by now. No, those products got accessibility because so many users practically demanded it;  the FCC was never involved. In fact, the FCC should not be involved in accessibility; they are the Federal Communications Commission, not the Federal Accessibility Commission, and frankly, I can't exactly trust the president of the FCC given his most recent actions regarding net neutrality. So excuse me if I'm quite doubtful of your words when the law you back is enforced by a corporation with a president that pushes through things without verifying that reviews and such are authentic or not. I thought we, the blind community, had learned that forcing accessibility wouldn't work through passed experiences. I thought we'd all established that some time ago. Apparently we still haven't. Legislation is just another way of forcing accessibility on people. How would you, as a company, feel if I forced something on you like that because I wanted to? Yes, we've asked companies to implement it. But considering the fact that none of us even know some of these companies inner workings, forcing anything on them is not going to end well for us. Our best thing is to wait until it happens and not to force it through like a bull. We are a small minority -- less than 0.2 percent of the population of the entire united states. And yes, I've listend to that youtube video. And most certainly doubt it success rates; nothing is 100 percent successful the first time round. I mean, the CVAA might be partially responsible for closed captioning accessibility, but like I said, forcing companies to do what we want, by the CVAA or otherwise, is exactly the wrong thing to do. It makes us look entitled, arrogant, presumptuous, and bad. That's like you making a program with a framework that's not accessible (GTK on windows, anyone), and then me walking up to you one day and demanding that you make it accessible, right there and then. What would you think if I did that? I'm trying to get you to understand my point of view and clearly your either failing to grasp it, ignoring it, or considering your point of view above mine simply because you've been in the industry longer than I have. Or we're having a miscommunication here. Either way, I'm perfectly getting your point, and am responding with my own responses that are quite logical and well-formed. You say I'm getting the wrong end of the stick; I'm simply trying to understand exactly why you're putting so much faith into a law that's most likely incredibly hard to enforce and that's full of legislative rules that you'd need an entire legal team to understand. I'm also trying to understand exactly how this very law will make discord (or games or any other platform that's communication-wise) accessible; the law is for communications only, not for entire programs. I keep saying that and you keep ignoring it; please stop and actually acknowledge my points or stop trying to debate this with me. If discourse follows the CVAA, they only have to make the communications parts of it accessible; playing a sound when messages are received, that sort of thing. They don't need to make the hole program accessible at all. And guess what? That faithful CVAA that will "cure all the worlds problems" (notice the quotes) will not be able to do much after that. Discourse or steam could make it so that it copies new messages to your clipboard and some such but doesn't allow you to go back in message history (but incorporate message history in the website). That would be perfectly valid in the CVAA.
Furthermore, in one of the posts on here you listed several requirements that you think (yes, you think, you don't know, since you're not a legal expert) would make an app CVAA compliant. Here's my response: the CVAA does not state anywhere that an app has to do or implement any of those things. OCR is acceptable, and a company could justifiably say that, and the problem is, OCR falls within the boundaries of what's acceptable in the CVAA. It makes the app accessible, almost. The CVAA does not state anywhere that an app must be as accessible as the TI84+ mathematics calculator I used in high school for algebra from Texas Instruments. Furthermore, you mentioned 'predictive text', also known as 'autocomplete'. An app does not have to implement that to be CVAA compliant, especially if said app uses no communications visible to the user. In fact, autocomplete/predictive text tends to make accessibility worse in certain cases. And don't get me started about those things that can't be made accessible because of technical limitations (i.e. my computers firmware). Ever heard of PXE boot? By your own logic, such an interface (either PXE or the firmware itself) would need to be made accessible purely because it can communicate over the network. But, of course, I've stated in more than one topic that such a thing is not possible at this time. Guess those computer manufacturers will be fined a few million dollars because the FCC feels that that company has violated a law even though that very company couldn't fix it even if they tried.

"On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament!]: 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out ?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."    — Charles Babbage.

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29 (edited by ianhamilton_ 2018-07-07 01:04:31)

So how does being against forcing people to do stuff square with slapping a frivolous ADA violation notice on Discord?

Ethin, you're exhausting.

I am not debating anything with you. I am simply telling you how it is. You can choose to accept that or not to accept that, that's your prerogative.

I know the people behind this stuff at both Xbox and PlayStation very well. I also know Karen Peltz Strauss. I co-direct the conference that the CVAA video you watched was filmed at.

I am not "considering my point of view above yours simply because I've been in the industry longer than you have". Time is not a factor. I am trying to explain things to you that I know - not have the opinion of, know - are true.

This is my day job. So I know some things and know some people. And can tell you with absolute certainty that you are wrong about many things.

I am obviously limited by NDA in what I can say about what ndividual companies are up to or what I may or may not know about CVAA. But PlayStation at least have spoken publicly about the relationship between CVAA and their accessibility featureset.


When it cuts in to the person speaking in English about the law and how it works at around 1:30, that's Kevin Chung, Sony's director of compliance. If CVAA was not a factor in thr development of PlayStation's accessibility functionality, ask yourself why a video about the development of that functionality featured their director of compliance talking about how the law works.

If you're interested in the Japanese content of the video I do have a transcript that I wrote of it...


That's the last word I'm going to say to you about CVAA. I've tried to help you out with some more accurate knowledge, but you're of course free to think what you want.

Either way, I understand being cynical. Blind gamers have more reason than most to be cynical. But please keep that cynicism to "I'll believe it when I see it", instead of making stuff up about developers and their attitudes. Doing so is a self fulfilling prophecy.

On a completely different note, would you be comfortable sharing where you are geographically? Like state, nearest city etc?

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I agree with Ethin in spirit anyway, if not the sort of rambunctious way he has of putting everything. These companies are not going to follow the law if they don't want to, that's just how it is. They have the power to not do it, and fight any consequences that may arise. They will either find good lawyers who will find them loopholes in the legislation, or who will try to get them off, or at least reduce their fines or other legal issues another way. And if they do have to pay a fine, thy'll pay it and move on like nothing happened. This law will do nothing except motivate companies who already had an interest in accessibility to maybe try to make it a higher priority.

I'm a cat! What's mine is mine, and what's yours is mine to :P XD

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@30, thank you for expressing it like that. I've tried saying this repeatedly but the faith shown in this law is clearly higher than my confidence that this will fail. If companies don't want to follow the law, they won't follow the law -- period. And there's only so much a company can do to make things accessible for people. @29, Why do you want to know my geographical location?

"On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament!]: 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out ?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."    — Charles Babbage.

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As my two cents on the matter, while I will concede some companies will actually act on legislation, (you might even give some insentive for some companies to act by merely suggesting that you would have them considered some sort of bigot or other (My own brand of cynicism showing here)), it most certainly is not the best way forward. In my mind, if we can make a product accessible ourselves, I'd advocate for that first. Though, mainly that's best done with open source projects. That failing, a nice letter works, though,  they may not be as likely to do so. Oh well. Valve hasn't shown that much interest in doing anything, for example. I'd rather leave it at that, anyways. Especially seeing how the general community might be fracturing soon, anyways regarding Steam. Now, back to Discord, since they started on a project, it's more likely they will finish it. Not a guarantee, but a glimmer of hope exists, at least. We'll see where it goes. Like I said, Discord isn't unusable, it's just not completely pleasant and requires more work than it should to not have to deal with complete annoyances. Like having to close the app for a while to leave a server call, for example.

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33 (edited by ianhamilton_ 2018-07-07 18:36:58)

Christ. I don't know how I can make this any clearer. I don't have to be here spending my time giving you this info, but you aren't making it easy.

In general terms there absolutely are companies where CVAA has resulted in accessibility dialogue high up in the companies where there wasn't before, dialogue which has then expanded further into accessibility considerations outside of communications functionality.

Much of the resulting accessibility work is still under wraps. Some of it has hit the market already.

The meteoric rise in accessibility over the past couple of years in particular is not just coincidence.

Something that is public knowledge via the CVAA progress reports and waiver fillings is outreach activities. As part of those fillings they supplied examples of outreach activities industry had conducted with the community and with advocacy groups. You can look at the full text of the waiver requests and progress reports on the FCC website to see details, including details of the advocacy groups involved. This has included dialogue directly with advocacy groups, including blind, and also involved events to bring the community, including blind gamers, together with developers from ESA member companies. CVAA has directly resulted in new relationships  between industry and both advocacy groups and individual gamers. All of this is readily available public knowledge.

Something else that is readily available public knowledge is that blind gamers are now being brought into big companies to explore the possibilities of blind accessibility in mainstream games. This is new, it is not something that had happened before.

This is my day job. Through the course of that I know a few people and know a few things. This allows me to share some simple facts you - at least as much as is possible without breaking confidentiality. You can of course call me a liar and remain willfully ignorant of those facts if you like, but the facts remain.

I have never anywhere claimed that legislation is a silver bullet. I have never anywhere claimed that I think legislation is the best way to achieve accessibility. I even said this, which seems to have been conveniently ignored:

"I wouldn't for a second pretend that legislation is the cure for all ills, I'm not even particularly a fan of legislation."

And of course precisely to what extent these broader accessibility efforts for people with disabilities in general translates into improved accessibility for blind gamers remains to be seen.

I absolutely understand and respect being skeptical and believing it when you see it. But being skeptical and denying the simple facts of what had been happening in the industry are two different things. Everything I've told you above is categorically true, and much of it is demonstrably true through publicly available information.

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On a different note, man, my phone really hates accessibility for blind gamers. It auto corrects it to blond gamers every time.

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lol if you have an iPhone, tap the far left near the top of the keyboard that should contain exactly what you typed, it will keep it there and put a space, then after that, maybe autocorrect will leave it alone, for a droid, I don't know, haven't used the android platform in quite a few years.

I'm a cat! What's mine is mine, and what's yours is mine to :P XD

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@33, I understand that. And you kinda proved my point that forcing things down peoples throat doesn't work in the slightest in post 29 too. The thing is, Ian, (or do you want me to call you ianhamilton_), if you want something like this to work, you can't give them wavers. You can't suspend it. If you do, you've lost. Making laws for accessibility is essentially a game in of itself: who can make the strictest laws and who can find the biggest, most exploitable loophole in those laws? For the CVAA, that loophole was the waver you offered for the last 8 years. For some companies, this is not a problem: they will obey. But for most super-ultra-big ones, who are absolutely against accessibility, or have no way of implementing it in their products (i.e. FL Studio, Steam (which is backed by a chromium engine and which, if I'm not mistaken, an inaccessible browser interface), etc), they saw the waver and were like, "OK, a loophole we can use." And since then, you've lost this little game between you and them. They've scored higher and higher for the passed 8 years on who can exploit the loohole the most; when January 01 comes, it will be the FCC's turn to attempt to rack up more points than Steam. I have tried to explain why I'm so skeptical of this law and skeptical of its success. Clearly, either I have failed to explain myself appropriately or I have been ignored. I just do not have faith in the US federal government; time and time again they have proven themselves incapable of enforcing their own laws when the time calls for it, or enforcing only those laws that the corrupt, bigoted idiots in there want to enforce, and leaving the remainder alone like they don't exist.

"On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament!]: 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out ?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."    — Charles Babbage.

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37 (edited by ianhamilton_ 2018-07-07 21:59:23)

Ironcross32 ah no, thanks but I'm on android smile

Ethin I'm not interested.

Instead I'd direct you to the bits of this post that discuss arguing and exasperating.


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@37, That's OK. I honestly don't care if your interested or not.

"On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament!]: 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out ?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."    — Charles Babbage.

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39 (edited by matt1211 2018-07-08 00:18:59)

For my part, I'm in the wait and see boat, as well.
I have hope, but am still slightly skeptical of the effectiveness of the law, partially because of the complete standstill of the accessibility on the PS4 for the past long while. That being said of course, I'm not working in the field, so I'm not going to pretend I know what I'm talking about and say for sure that it won't happen. Many of my favourite youtubers use discord, so if this becomes a thing I won't be complaining. I had no luck at all with the process of using it in the past, so we'll see what happens!
I have hope, developers of discord. If you ever read this, please know your efforts are appreciated. I'd rather have something eventually, than not at all.

Praise be to cthulhu, the one who will emerge from the depths and devour all that lives.

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40 (edited by ianhamilton_ 2018-07-10 00:49:54)

I'm reasonably hopeful for discord. When they posted about their colorblind accessibility they said it was the first of many accessibility updates, but that wasn't a one off, they've said the same lots of times since in response to individual tweeters saying they like the functionality. Volunteering the information without being asked.

That doesn't really seem like the kind of thing you would do if you didn't actually have plans, as it just means you can be held more accountable.

They haven't given any kind of a clue about what the content of their accessibility roadmap is. But in other companies I've seen features that were considered complete pulled immediately before launch never to see the light of day due to unforseen bugs, so hesitance to talk about specific things before they hit is I think understandable.

So whether it includes either any kind of blind accessibility or screenreader support specifically remains to be seen.

But them even having an accessibility roadmap and talking about its existence publicly is pretty cool, and getting such an overwhelmingly positive response to their initial accessibility launch will really help internal buy-in for future work. For an example of that principle in action see Naughty Dog's GAconf talk.

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Sounds great, I'll be hoping for the best!

Praise be to cthulhu, the one who will emerge from the depths and devour all that lives.

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hey Ian, When you were talking to the play station folks,did they mention anything about making the TTs available to non north American hardware? It's been years, and I'm fed up with the radio silence from support over here about the entire thing. I'm pretty much of the opinion that there will be no TTS outside of north American hardware for this gen, but it would really suck to be in the same place for all of next gen too. As for discord, I'm remaining hopeful while keeping  in mind that a full suite of accessibility features doesn't have to include screen reader support/ speech. My UK ps4 says hi or it would... you know, if it weren't intentionally blocked from having a voice

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dude its not that great unless it got updated since last I tried it, I don't have a PS4. They're only doing it in this country due to FCC regs, trust me, they have no intention to make it accessible, or they would have rolled out new features here. There's only like 4 or 5 menus the PS4 stuff works in. It is most definitely not system wide. That kind of does suck, because given the choice, I prefer Playstation so so so much more than Xbox.

I'm a cat! What's mine is mine, and what's yours is mine to :P XD

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Yeah, I totally understand it's not great but I guess it's still better than nothing. I think honestly what left a bad taste in my mouth was that they actively went out the way to block the feature off. They gave us all the rest of the accessibility stuff, but got someone to sit down and write up code to block all the other SKUs.

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I have no information that I can give you about PS TTS, sorry

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46 (edited by matt1211 2018-07-10 02:32:08)

Which tells me that there's information, you just can't share it. Thanks! smile

Praise be to cthulhu, the one who will emerge from the depths and devour all that lives.

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all rivers do not run deep my bredda, there are dry stream beds.

I'm a cat! What's mine is mine, and what's yours is mine to :P XD

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This is true, but I choose to believe this version, because otherwise I'll have wasted money on the PS4, and time and effort hoping it'd change.
My brain works in peculiar ways.

Praise be to cthulhu, the one who will emerge from the depths and devour all that lives.

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It doesn't tell you that Matt, sorry!

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Lol no problem.

Praise be to cthulhu, the one who will emerge from the depths and devour all that lives.

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