Amazon’s Kindle Violates the ADA

As we’ve been touting, the ADA is about equal access, or atleast reasonable accommodation. In the Amazon/Apple war (Kindle vs iPad/iPhone) over who is going to be the next reader of digital media Amazon moved the Kindle to put textbooks online for students. Not a bad idea, considering the cost of text books and the weight of lugging all those heavy books about. But in doing so, Kindle did not allow for their product to be readable for the blind — there is no way for a blind person to access the text-to-speech on the Kindle without the help of a sighted person.

No matter what you do, no matter what goods or services your business, or any business participates in — please make sure you include everyone — that you think of providing everyone with a means to participate in some equitable manner…

Last year, the schools — among them Princeton, Arizona State and Case Western Reserve — wanted to know if e-book readers would be more convenient and less costly than traditional textbooks. The environmentally conscious educators also wanted to reduce the huge amount of paper students use to print files from their laptops.

It seemed like a promising idea until the universities got a letter from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, now under an aggressive new chief, Thomas Perez, telling them they were under investigation for possible violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Kindle Violates the ADA

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