Kindle DX – Text to Speech

May 11th, 2009 · by spolanka · 3 Comments

An abledbody news article last week discusses the new Kindle DX and it’s text-to-speech program that will read a book aloud.  According to the abledbody article, the Kindle does not go far enough to provide an accessible player to persons with disabilities.  The eBook menus and controls are not audio accessible, limiting access to those with visual disabilities.   I’m not certain Kindle had persons with disabilities in mind when they created this new text-to-speech feature since it is not limited to those with disabilities. Kindle will work with Pearson, Cengage Learning, Wiley and 75 other University Presses to provide textbooks on the Kindle this year.  Additionally, 3 newspapers have given Amazon the rights to text-to-speech content, NYT, Washington Post, and the Boston Globe.  Sounds to me like the much broader market, with a potential to listen to books in the car, while walking, doing housework, or any other multitude of activities is what got Amazon tickled pink about text-to-speech.  Just in case you didn’t hear, Kindle will begin a text book pilot program with 6 Universities this fall.

Categories: Accessibility,Articles of Interest,Ebook Readers,Textbooks,Vendor News

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3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Mary McManusmar // May 14, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    Excuse me, my Kindle 2 will already read me the Chicago Tribune which I subscribe to on it. Or any other newspaper I might want to subscribe to. Lots of people with Kindles have it read a few articles to them while they are getting ready for work. The only things the Kindle 2 (and forthcoming DX) won’t read aloud are those from publishers which have disabled the text to speech.

  • 2 Brandon // Mar 4, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    Sounds like someone is in the Universities pockets and it’s not Amazon. This product is amazing.

    Two things, only about 3% of our population is blind, so this in no way should cause any University to turn down a product. Books don’t read to blind people either.

    Second and most importantly, Amazon is the company to do business with. They are the only ones fighting to keep book costs down and are the only one’s telling publishers to shove-it with there outlandish efforts to keep digital copies of books at the highest possible range. A digital copy is worth pennies to the dollar and Amazon seems to be the only one agreeing with this notion.

    This country is so confused, I don’t even know where to begin. This is an easy, logical issue, and the people are giving all the rights to publishers while using blind people as the tool.

    Good work Universities. Good work publishers. Good work dumb Americans!

  • 3 Kathleen // May 16, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    kindle, if you’re listening, why not go on to make the device fully accessible to the blind, it would be convenient and great angle for publicity—-there must be folks within the disability community who could advise on exactly what is needed to make Kindle the leadder in this field.