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Irony Alert

Since the FCC’s stream of its open meeting was not accessible to me and some others for most of the meeting, I thought I would briefly opine on the commission’s just-released agenda for a July 19 salute to the Americans with Disabilities Act, which marks its 20th anniversary next week.The day-long event will include a technology showcase and the launch of what the FCC is calling an Accessibility and Innovation Forum, which it bills as a problem-solving collaboration among stakeholders to “foster accessible and affordable communications technologies solutions.”

Why do we have to call everything a “solution,” by the way? Let’s banish that overused word from the lexicon, along with the phrase “sales event” as some kind of euphemism for “sale.” As though adding an “s” and “event” means the store will be filled with nicely dressed people in tennis togs rather than the sweaty masses with noisy children who show up at sales.

But I digress, big time.

Anyway, that FCC forum, which will include “workshops, field events, facilitated dialogues, and online tools, including blog posts” sounds like a fine idea. But I was a bit offput by an accessibility brainstorming session about accessibility issues that will follow its Monday festivities. “This event is by invitation only and is closed to the public and press.”

Accessibility brainstorming session closed to the public and press? Hmmmmmmm, that does not sound like a solution to me, or even a sales event.

“In addition to a public celebration of the ADA and as part of several public initiatives to innovate crowd-source solutions for accessibility, we thought a small brainstorming session among some recognized and not-so recognized participants (particularly technology developers) could generate interesting starting points for projects,” said FCC spokesperson Rosemary Kimball. “As the goal is to engage critical mass of collaborators, the ideas of the session will be public. We plan further conversations and encourage others to do the same.”

OK, remove four of the “m’s” off the above “Hmmmmmmm,” but leave the rest.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.