Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Kindle 2: on the road to accessibility... or not

With the release of the 2nd version of the Kindle electronic book reading device by, it seems that the road to accessibility is up ahead. The (experimental) text-to-speech feature that is included in Kindle2 definitely is a good step in the right direction.

However, a recent concern that has been raised by the Author's Guild might add some complications for this rather important feature. If the Author's Guild is successful in its objections to a text-to-speech feature in Kindle2 (and possibly similar devices), what looks like a step towards accessibility may not end up where we hope it will.

Hopefully, a solution will be worked out that does not block users with significant visual impairments from ever being able to benefit from the functionality that Kindle provides.

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