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Book Readers React to Kindle Text-to-Speech Debacle

April 7 2009 | by

Huffington Post has compiled a list of powerful quotes from people who signed an online petition called We want to read, following Amazon’s decision to allow the Authors Guild to disable the text to speech feature in its Kindle 2 e-book reader. This has set off a storm of opposition among groups that see the Guild’s actions as harmful to access for persons who are reading disabled. Today, disability groups will protest at the Guild’s headquarters in New York City.

Here are a few quotes that stood out:

Mary Butigan, Florida
Have freinds that are going through eye cancer and cannot read. This is a great resource for them to have books to hear while going through chemo and escape the rigors of loosing their sight.

Timothy Emmons, Alabama
Text to Speech is important to me for a variety of reasons, the main one of which, I am totally blind. I rely on it daily to read, perform my duties as a librarian, and get entertainment among other things.

Robert Hargrave, Canada
My daughter Meaghan is blind. She has very limited access to audio books. When we can get them she will listen to them for hours and over and over again. I think what AMAZON IS DOING WOULD BE FANTASTIC FOR HER.

Jason Ewell, Maryland
I am blind. I would love to be able to buy books the way any print reader does. This is the first chance I have ever had to do so and the Authors Guild wants to take that opportunity away from me.

Raymond Blanford, Virginia
Because I may, some day, not be able to routinely read written text but need to resort to listening to it.

Marc Workman, Canada
For a student, access to books is tremendously important. Too much time and too many resources are spent trying to make books accessible. The Author’s Guild has an opportunity to make hundreds of thousands of books available to print disabled students. Don’t ignore this opportunity.

Martha Thorp, Kansas
Back in the day, books on tape saved me when I was unable to physically read and/or hold a hard-copy publication. In this time of highly refined technology, the act of preventing access to information is unthinkable.

Read more at Huffington Post


  • AMillionBucks

    What am I missing – why is it even a consideration to turn this technology off?

Related posts:

  1. Disability groups To Protest Tuesday over Kindle 2
  2. Amazon Urged to Make Kindle 2 ‘Talk’
  3. Disabled Ask Amazon to Make Kindle 2 Accessible
  4. Amazon Kindle 2 Fails Accessibility Test
  5. Apple Adds Speech Output to the iPod Nano