Why is it, Mr. Shapiro, that after Congress passed the television decoder circuitry act, we did not get a substantial voluntary increase in closed captioning? Why is it that for six years, from 1990 to 1996, there was only a small increase in closed captioning?
If "voluntary" efforts had worked, Congress would not have had to pass the Telecommunications Act of 1996. That law made closed captioning on television mandatory.
Shapiro mentions voluntary around 56:40 in the video;
"While we share the goal of providing access to technology to all persons, our experience has taught us that voluntary multi-stakeholder, open, due process standard setting efforts are a better way to go than simply mandating every function of every product be accessible to people with every type of disability. To put it simply, mandating universal design is an innovation killer. Innovation leads to accessibility, not the other way around."Industry has proven through failures such as what happened from 1990 to 1996, that it can not be relied upon to do the right thing voluntarily.
Want another example of industry failure to do the right thing? Web video has been around since at least 1999. As far back as 1999 we deaf and hard of hearing were being left out of the new world of Internet video.
If voluntary actions were enough, and if industry could be counted on to do the right thing, industry would have held off on launching Internet video until it could have found solutions to have captions on said video. Instead, industry rushed to launch video on the web, and deaf and hard of hearing people and their needs be damned.
One more example. When portable DVD players were introduced to the market, we bought one. Only to discover that it was not capable of displaying closed captions on its seven inch screen.
Another example - when national mobile digital TV services like FloTV and MobiTV launched, there was no captioning.
See Flo TV Super Bowl Ad? Flo TV Doesn't Caption!
Flo TV Can't Commit to Captioning!
MobiTV Does Not Caption Either...
This is what we are trying to put an end to through HR 3101...the CONSTANT rush to "market" or "internet" without taking into consideration that a sizable audience is being left out right from the start! Leaving us out prior to product launch means we are considered second class citizens!
So sorry, Mr. Shapiro, your beloved mantra of "Voluntary is the way to go!" is a big fat lie!!
Join Caption Action 2 on Facebook!