FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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 www.nfb.org.