[Colorado-talk] National Federation of the Blind Comments on Release of Large-screen Kindle

Freeh, Jessica JFreeh at nfb.org
Thu May 7 01:33:44 UTC 2009



Chris Danielsen

Director of Public Relations

National Federation of the Blind

(410) 659-9314, extension 2330

(410) 262-1281 (Cell)

cdanielsen at nfb.org

National Federation of the Blind
Comments on Release of Large-screen Kindle

Urges Accessibility of New E-book Reader for Students

Baltimore, Maryland (May 6, 2009): The National Federation of the 
Blind, the nation's oldest and largest organization of blind 
Americans, commented today on the release by Amazon, Inc. of a new 
version of its Kindle electronic reading device.  The new Kindle has 
a larger screen than previous versions and is being marketed by 
Amazon as a potential platform for the display of textbooks for 
college and graduate students.

Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, 
said: "We are appalled that Amazon is releasing a new Kindle device 
ostensibly for the use of students that does not contain features 
that make it accessible to the blind.  While this new device has the 
ability to read text aloud, its controls and user interface are not 
accessible to blind people; therefore, blind students will not have 
access to electronic textbooks available for the device.  If the 
controls on the Kindle are made accessible to the blind, however, 
blind students will have equal access to textbooks at the same time 
as their sighted peers for the first time in history.  We therefore 
urge Amazon to introduce a user interface for the Kindle that is 
accessible to the blind as soon as possible.  Until such an 
accessible interface is introduced by Amazon, no college or 
university should deploy this device for use by its students, since 
doing so will place blind students at an unfair disadvantage compared 
to their sighted peers and will violate state and federal laws 
requiring equal access to textbooks and course materials for students 
with disabilities."


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