[nfbwatlk] [Wcb-l] Letter sent to Amazon concerning accessibility with theKindle.

debby phillips semisweetdebby at gmail.com
Thu Dec 13 05:32:41 UTC 2012

Although this letter is well-written, in my ever so humble 
opinion (grin) it is too little, too late.  WCB should have 
joined with NFB in the protest at Amazon today.  Of course, that 
would probably never haspen.    Peace,    Debby

 ---- Original Message ------
From: Cindy Van Winkle <cindy.vw at gmail.com
Subject: [Wcb-l] Letter sent to Amazon concerning accessibility 
with theKindle.
Date sent: Tue, 4 Dec 2012 10:13:31 -0800

Washington Council of the Blind
 P.O.  Box 3127
Bremerton, WA  98310
(360) 689-0827
Cindy.vw at gmail.com

December 4, 2012

Jeff Bezos, Chief Executive Officer, Amazon.com Inc.
1200 12th Ave.  S., Ste.  1200
Seattle, WA 98144-2734

Dear Mr.  Bezos:

I am writing to you on behalf of the Washington Council of the 
a consumer organization  over 400 members strong.

We have been made aware that schools are purchasing kindles for 
classrooms, and that the Whispercast software is being used so 
documents, emails, and textbooks can easily be synced to whatever
kindle device a student is using.  We understand that this 
flexibility for educators, and easy access for students—unless 
students are blind.

While there have certainly been some major strides in the
accessibility of the Kindle such as TTS and voice guides, there 
been no improvement of either one.  The device is sixty percent
accessible, and what is currently out there is not nearly enough 
that a blind child can compete with his or her peers on an equal
playing field.  There is no way to accessibly navigate by word, 
words out, go line by line, or a number of other navigational
techniques that others can easily track with their eyes.  Not 
feature of the Kindle is accessible, and it absolutely should be.

There has not been progress on the accessibility front of the 
for about three years, despite repeated letters and offers of 
and providing feedback, and it causes people to be concerned that
there is a lack of care on Amazon's part.  Apple has done a very 
job at implementing accessibility.  Recently, Barnes and Noble 
has come
out with an iPhone ap that is completely accessible.  We believe 
the Kindle should be accessible out of the box and that every 
be made available for blind users.

Amazon is a big player in the creation of ebook reading platforms 
we implore you to do everything in your power to ensure, that as 
devices become more prevalent in the classroom, students who are 
will have equal access, ample opportunity, and greater 
when it comes to their education.  In this vein, the Washington 
of the Blind stands ready to assist you in any way we can to 
reading accessibility for all.


Cindy Van Winkle, President
Washington Council of the Blind

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