Many people with disabilities say that Amazon’s Kindle 2 isn’t truly accessible because its text-to-speech function is too basic. Likewise, a similar problem with the Kindle 2 is that while it can read a book out loud, the actual device and it menus do not “talk.” As noted in Serotek Blog, an online petition is circulating that asks Amazon to add talking menus and other voice prompts to make the new Kindle 2 fully accessible. The petition gives props to Amazon for taking the first step in making its website and online store more accessible — in 2006, Amazon was threatened with a lawsuit by the National Federation of the Blind — and asks that the company realize that many blind persons are already paying users of Audible.com, the online provider of talking books that Amazon owns and from which many Kindle users get their books. The petition states that “providing talking menus will increase the chance of adoption of this device” not only by blind persons but also by “schools and universities, because sighted individuals will benefit by having spoken prompts while driving, and because providing full access to the Kindle 2 will result in sales that will outweigh the expenditure of making all menu choices speak their status.” If you want to sign the Amazon petition, go here.
Disabled Ask Amazon to Make Kindle 2 Accessible
March 19 2009 | by Suzanne Robitaille