Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Friday, August 13, 2010

e-reader accessibility

Recently Ars Technica compared the Kindle, the iPad, the Sony Reader, and the Nook to find out which device had the best accessibility features. Their research showed that the iPad and the Kindle are farthest ahead but there is still room for improvement. While all of the e-readers allow users to increase the font size, only the iPad and the Kindle include text-to-speech functionality. In addition, only the iPad and the latest version of the Kindle, the Kindle 3, include audible menus.

In a recent press release, the National Federation of the Blind praised Amazon for making the Kindle 3 accessible.

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."

1 comment:

rgm2007 said...

Thanks for posting this. It may seem like a small issue because the number of college students with print-related disabilities is relatively small, but the Dept. of Justice sent a clear message that the wholesale adoption of e-readers by a college can be challenged as discriminatory if the devices are not equally usable by those students.