Schools Won't Use The Kindle Until It's Handicapped Accessible

Posted: Nov 11 2009, 12:37pm CST | by , Updated: Aug 11 2010, 5:25pm CDT, in News | Technology News


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Two major universities, Syracuse and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, have decided not to use the Kindle DX as a way of distributing textbooks to their students. This is a big blow to Amazon's hopes for their reader, and one that's been applauded by the National Federation of the Blind. They dislike the Kindle because it cannot be used by blind students. As long as that is the case, they say, universities should not adopt the device for widespread use.

The National Federation was careful to mention that they see a lot of promise in E-Reader technology for blind students. Text-to-speech functionality could easily create a reader that is useable by those with disabilities, but the Kindle DX was not manufactured in this way. While universities are still free to approve of the Kindle as one way to distribute books to students, the Americans With Disabilities Act makes it impossible for it to be the sole method.

The National Federation of the Blind has good reason to be ticked at Amazon. The company is under no obligation to make products that are handicapped accessible BUT, if they truly want the Kindle to be used in schools across the country, it HAS to be. Why they haven't released an add-on or modified version that works for blind students is beyond me. Amazon hasn't thought this out as deeply as they should have.

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