Wednesday, December 5, 2012
National Federation of the Blind Takes On Amazon
An organization that supports the rights of blind Americans, the National Federation of the Blind, said Tuesday that it is protesting the push by Amazon.com to put its Kindle devices into schools. The group said the Kindle and its software--unlike other e-book products and software--is not accessible to blind students, even on devices that normally support the blind, such as personal computers and iPads. The NFB complained that Amazon only makes its content available through a proprietary text-to-speech engine, rather than providing access to readers specifically designed for the blind, including Braille devices. The group said that Amazon has "repeatedly demonstrated utter indifference" to recommendations to add that support, and has failed to follow the best practices of other, e-book providers.