[nfb-talk] Fwd: National Federation of the Blind Commends Amazon on Unveiling of New Accessible Kindle

David Andrews dandrews at visi.com
Thu Jul 29 20:32:02 CDT 2010


I suspect we need to reserve judgment and speculation until some 
blind folks get their hands on them.

Also, some books have text to speech turned off -- on twitter it says 
50 percent.

Dave

At 01:21 PM 7/29/2010, you wrote:
>So, we can use the menus but not read the books?  I'm confused 
>because to me this is okay but not enough and I'll commend Amazon 
>when they do more.
>
>margo andArrow
>----- Original Message ----- From: "Buddy Brannan" <buddy at brannan.name>
>To: "NFB Talk Mailing List" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
>Sent: Thursday, July 29, 2010 1:47 PM
>Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] Fwd: National Federation of the Blind 
>Commends Amazon on Unveiling of New Accessible Kindle
>
>
>And, on the flip side of this, I submit the following response 
>(followed by my original questions), from Amazon. By no means is the 
>access currently available good enough for full, or even IMO 
>acceptable, use of the Kindle. It's a nice start, but let's hope 
>they continue and don't stop with this.
>
>Hello,
>
>Thanks for writing to us with your comments.
>
>Voice Guide lets you navigate your Kindle with spoken menus, 
>selectable items, and descriptions. For example, when you open a 
>book, Kindle speaks your current location and how far you've read.
>
>Presently we don't have the features like enabling the voice guide 
>and TTS features without sighted assistance, navigate or read by 
>smaller increments in text to speech, voice guide or text to speech 
>work in the Web browser, enabling text to speech for the books which 
>have text to speech option disabled.
>
>I've sent your comments to the Kindle team for consideration. We're 
>regularly working on improvements to your Kindle experience. 
>Customer feedback like yours helps us continue to improve the 
>service we provide.
>
>I hope this helps. We look forward to seeing you again soon.
>
>Did I solve your problem?
>
>If yes, please click here:
>http://www.amazon.com/rsvp-y?c=yagwhvtx3324198336
>
>If no, please click here:
>http://www.amazon.com/rsvp-n?c=yagwhvtx3324198336
>
>Please note: this e-mail was sent from an address that cannot accept 
>incoming e-mail.
>
>To contact us about an unrelated issue, please visit the Help 
>section of our web site.
>
>Best regards,
>
>Madhu Y
>Amazon.com
>Your feedback is helping us build Earth's Most Customer-Centric Company.
>http://www.amazon.com/your-account
>
>---- Original message: ----
>
>Hi,
>
>I'm very interested in the Kindle 3, but as a blind user, I have a 
>few concerns. Before I outline those concerns, I would like to say 
>that I, for one, am happy to purchase if Amazon can make a 
>commitment to our community to make accessibility improvements where warranted.
>
>As you might suppose, my concerns directly relate to the text to 
>speech and voice guide features:
>
>1) Will voice guide speak as you type? Will it read options as they 
>are navigated and selected? Can you select books with it? 
>Documentation is definitely lacking in this area. With voice guide 
>enabled, will it be possible to use Kindle as outlined in the rest 
>of the manual, without looking at the screen at all?
>
>2) Do menus wrap? Would it be possible to enable the voice guide and 
>TTS features without sighted assistance? If not, I would recommend 
>that it should be.
>
>3) With text to speech reading of Kindle ebooks, is it possible to 
>navigate or read by smaller increments? In other words, can I 
>navigate a book by word, or even by character? If I need to have an 
>unfamiliar name or term spelled, is this possible? These features 
>are essential if Kindle is to be used by a student in a classroom environment.
>
>4) Does voice guide or text to speech work in the Web browser? Can 
>it be used, not only to read Web content but to navigate to that 
>content? Is it possible to browse the Kindle store to purchase 
>books, again, using only text to speech and voice guide?
>
>5) Will it be possible to enable text to speech for blind users on 
>books where it is by default disabled? If not, is there some way to 
>know whether a book is TTS-enabled before purchasing it? I would 
>hate to buy a book, only to find I am unable to read it.
>
>In short, I would like some assurance that Amazon is working towrd 
>real accessibility to the Kindle, and not just a token effort that 
>amounts to little more than a toy.
>--
>Buddy Brannan, KB5ELV - Erie, PA
>Phone: (814) 860-3194 or 888-75-BUDDY
>
>
>
>
>--
>Buddy Brannan, KB5ELV - Erie, PA
>Phone: (814) 860-3194 or 888-75-BUDDY
>
>
>
>On Jul 29, 2010, at 1:28 PM, David Andrews wrote:
>
>>
>>>FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>CONTACT:
>>>
>>>Chris Danielsen
>>>
>>>Director of Public Relations
>>>
>>>National Federation of the Blind
>>>
>>>(410) 659-9314, extension 2330
>>>
>>>(410) 262-1281 (Cell)
>>>
>>><mailto:cdanielsen at nfb.org>cdanielsen at nfb.org
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>National Federation of the Blind Commends Amazon
>>>on Unveiling of New Accessible Kindle
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>Baltimore, Maryland (July 29, 2010): The National Federation of 
>>>the Blind (NFB) today commended Amazon on the unveiling of a new, 
>>>accessible Kindle.  Amazon announced Wednesday that the new Kindle 
>>>will come equipped with a voice guide that reads all menu options 
>>>aloud so blind and other print-disabled people can navigate the device menus.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the 
>>>Blind, said: "We commend Amazon on the unveiling of a new Kindle 
>>>that blind and print-disabled people can use.  In order to compete 
>>>in today's digital society, blind and print-disabled people must 
>>>be able to access the same reading technologies as the 
>>>sighted.  The National Federation of the Blind has long been 
>>>urging Amazon to make its reading device accessible, and we are 
>>>pleased that our efforts have come to fruition."
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>In June 2009 the National Federation of the Blind and the American 
>>>Council of the Blind (ACB) filed suit against Arizona State 
>>>University (ASU) to prevent the university from deploying Amazon's 
>>>Kindle DX electronic reading device as a means of distributing 
>>>electronic textbooks to its students because the device cannot be 
>>>used by blind students.  The Kindle DX featured text-to-speech 
>>>technology that can read textbooks aloud to blind students.  The 
>>>menus of the device were not accessible to the blind, however, 
>>>making it impossible for a blind user to purchase books from 
>>>Amazon's Kindle store, select a book to read, activate the 
>>>text-to-speech feature, and use the advanced reading functions 
>>>available on the Kindle DX.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>For more information on the National Federation of the Blind, 
>>>please visit <http://www.nfb.org/>www.nfb.org.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>###
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>About the National Federation of the Blind
>>>
>>>With more than 50,000 members, the National Federation of the 
>>>Blind is the largest and most influential membership organization 
>>>of blind people in the United States.  The NFB improves blind 
>>>people's lives through advocacy, education, research, technology, 
>>>and programs encouraging independence and self-confidence.  It is 
>>>the leading force in the blindness field today and the voice of 
>>>the nation's blind.  In January 2004 the NFB opened the National 
>>>Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute, the first research and 
>>>training center in the United States for the blind led by the blind.

                         David Andrews:  dandrews at visi.com
Follow me on Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/dandrews920





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