[Nfbmo] Reading Rights Coalition to Participate in LA Times Festival of Books

Freeh, Jessica JFreeh at nfb.org
Tue Apr 21 23:14:51 UTC 2009



  Chris Danielsen

Director of Public Relations

National Federation of the Blind

(410) 659-9314, ext. 2330

(410) 262-1281 (Cell)
<mailto:cdanielsen at nfb.org>cdanielsen at nfb.org

Reading Rights Coalition to
Participate in LA Times Festival of Books

Readers with Print Disabilities Will Urge Authors
  to Allow Everyone Access to E-books

Los Angeles, California (April 21, 2009): The 
Reading Rights Coalition will participate in the 
LA Times Festival of Books to educate authors 
about the need to enable text-to-speech for books 
available for Amazon’s Kindle 2 reading 
device.  The LA Times Festival of Books will take 
place April 25–26 at the University of California 
at Los Angeles and the Reading Rights Coalition 
will be in booth #207 located in zone B.  The 
coalition includes the blind, people with 
dyslexia, people with learning or processing 
issues, seniors losing vision, people with spinal 
cord injuries, people recovering from strokes, 
and many others for whom the addition of 
text-to-speech on the Kindle 2 promises for the 
first time easy, mainstream access to over 260,000 books.

Deborah Kent, who is blind and has written over 
one hundred books for children and young adults, 
said: “As both a blind person and a writer, I 
understand the importance of access to books for 
people of all ages and using all kinds of reading 
methods.  The inclusion of text-to-speech in 
e-books for the Kindle 2 will help many young 
people with print disabilities to gain access to 
books, thereby ensuring that they will receive an equal education.”

Randy Shaw, who will be speaking at the Book 
Festival about his new book, Beyond the 
Fields:  Cesar Chavez, the UFW, and the Struggle 
for Justice in the 21st Century and is the author 
of The Activist’s Handbook, said: “As a writer, I 
see e-books not as a potential threat to my 
rights but as a way for my work to reach a 
broader market.  Readers who have never purchased 
books before because they were inaccessible will 
now join the book-buying public, increasing the 
revenue and reach of writers on every subject and in every literary genre.”

Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National 
Federation of the Blind, said: “The issue of 
text-to-speech in e-books for the Kindle 2 is not 
one of copyrights but of civil rights.  The 
Reading Rights Coalition stands for the principle 
that when an individual has lawfully purchased an 
e-book, he or she should be able to read it in 
whatever medium is most suitable for him or 
her.  This principle advances the work of writers 
rather than taking rights away from them, and it 
allows people for whom reading was either an 
impossibility or a chore to join the mainstream 
of society.  We hope to persuade our friends in 
the literary community that it is in their best 
interest to make their books available with 
text-to-speech, but in any event we will not stop 
our campaign until everyone has access to e-books.”

For more information about the Reading Rights 
Coalition, please visit 
To sign our petition, go to 
If you are an author who supports our cause, 
please send your contact information to 
<mailto:readingrights at nfb.org>readingrights at nfb.org.

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