Release Date: 
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Chris Danielsen
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)

National Federation of the Blind Applauds Partnership Between K-NFB Reading Technology and Baker & Taylor

Historic Partnership Will Make Millions of Books Available for Purchase by the Blind

Baltimore, Maryland (October 14, 2009): The National Federation of the Blind, the nation’s leading advocate for access to information by the blind, today applauds the historic partnership between K-NFB Reading Technology, Inc., the world-renowned pioneer in reading technologies, and Baker & Taylor, Inc., the world's largest distributor of physical and digital books and entertainment products. This five-year partnership will use K-NFB Reading Technology’s soon-to-be-released electronic book reader to deliver the highest-quality digital book content to tens of millions of readers worldwide and harness Baker & Taylor’s market leadership and relationships with 44,000 publishers and major book retailers in more than 120 countries.

Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “We are thrilled that Baker & Taylor has joined forces with K-NFB Reading Technology. This partnership, using pioneering e-book technology, will provide blind and other print-disabled people heretofore unprecedented access to the printed word. Until now, the traditional consumer book market has been largely closed to the blind, leaving us with limited access to information. Blind students are often left behind in coursework, unable to obtain books at the same time as their sighted peers. With this groundbreaking new partnership, for the first time in history, commercial access to millions of books is about to become a reality for all blind people.”

Ray Kurzweil, CEO of K-NFB Reading Technology, said: “This dynamic partnership will further my work of more than three decades with the National Federation of the Blind to make the printed word easily accessible to the blind. With our growing repository of e-content, Baker & Taylor’s market leadership, and our innovative book technology, blind people will have millions of books literally at their fingertips. We expect this collaboration to revolutionize communication of knowledge throughout the world.”

Under the broad partnership with Baker & Taylor, K-NFB Reading Technology’s new e-reader with cutting-edge 3-D technology will present content in formats accessible to the blind and others with diverse reading needs, and will operate seamlessly on a variety of electronic devices, including personal computers, smart phones, and cell phones.

K-NFB Reading Technology, Inc., is a joint venture between Kurzweil Technologies, Inc., an innovator and pioneer in reading technologies and the creator of the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, and the National Federation of the Blind, the largest, most influential membership organization of blind people in the United States.