Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak with Ken Petri, the Director of the Web Accessibility Center at The Ohio State University, about the accessibility of eBooks and eBook readers. Ken is incredibly knowledgeable on the topic and offered a great deal of information during the interview. It’s about 25 minutes in length, so I strongly encourage you to download the file before listening due to it’s size. Ken provided us with a great list of resources for various aspects of eBook accessibility, which are below. Thanks Ken!
Flashback to fall 2009 and the pilot textbook study with the Kindle DX on 4 college campuses. Result…failure due to law suit from the National Federation of the Blind. The device, not accessible. Luckily Amazon learned from this mistake and went back to development, producing their new Kindle with a voice guide that reads all menu options aloud so blind and other print-disabled people can navigate the device menus.
Kudos from the Federation Press Release: “Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “We commend Amazon on the unveiling of a new Kindle that blind and print-disabled people can use. In order to compete in today’s digital society, blind and print-disabled people must be able to access the same reading technologies as the sighted. The National Federation of the Blind has long been urging Amazon to make its reading device accessible, and we are pleased that our efforts have come to fruition.”