Blind People Mad at Kindle

I would think that the National Federation of the Blind and the American Council of the Blind would be thrilled with the idea of colleges using Kindles for textbooks.  After all, Kindle’s can read the text to you which would be a great advantage for people who can’t see.  This seems like a big step up from a regular book that may or may not have a braille or audio edition and if such editions exist are going to be hard to find and probably much more expensive.

It turns out those two organizations see things a bit differently.  Instead of being happy about the advantages such a device would give blind people, they decided to complain to the DOJ about several pilot programs to use Kindle’s in several universities.  Their logic is that the devices are difficult to navigate if you can’t see. While I see their point, surely the devices aren’t any more difficult than letting a blind person find and read a book in a large library on their own.  They also complain that blind students wouldn’t be able to use the web browser capabilities of the device (which presumably doesn’t offer text to speech capabilities).

I think it is idiotic that they are preventing programs that would make things better for the people they represent.  Technology progresses incrementally and trying to hold up new projects that are beneficial just because you want them to be beneficial in other ways is a sure fire way to reduce progress for people with disabilities.


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