[Nfbnet-members-list] National Federation of the Blind Applauds Settlement with Free Library of Philadelphia

David Andrews dandrews at visi.com
Wed Oct 24 08:28:22 UTC 2012


Chris Danielsen
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)
<mailto:cdanielsen at nfb.org>cdanielsen at nfb.org

National Federation of the Blind Applauds Settlement
with Free Library of Philadelphia

Lawsuit by Four Blind Patrons Over Inaccessible E-readers Resolved

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (October 23, 2012): 
lawsuit against the Free Library of Philadelphia 
filed in May with the assistance of the 
<http://www.nfb.org>National Federation of the 
Blind by four blind patrons­Denice Brown, Karen 
Comorato, Patricia Grebloski, and Antoinette 
Whaley­has been resolved by the parties.  The 
blind plaintiffs filed suit because the library 
began lending NOOK Simple Touch e-readers, which 
are manufactured and sold by Barnes & Noble, to 
patrons over fifty.  Unlike some other portable 
e-readers that use text-to-speech technology 
and/or Braille to allow blind people to read 
NOOK devices are completely inaccessible to 
patrons who are blind.  Under the terms of the 
settlement, the library will purchase ten 
accessible e-readers to supplement the devices it 
has already purchased, and within four years will 
use only accessible e-reading devices. The 
library will also incorporate an accessibility 
requirement into its technology procurement 
contracts.  The settlement brings the library’s 
policies and practices into compliance with 
issued by the United States Department of 
Education.  The library’s commitment is also in 
line with a resolution passed in 2009 by the 
American Library Association entitled Purchasing 
of Accessible Electronic Resources, which urged 
“all libraries purchasing, procuring, using, 
maintaining and contracting for electronic 
resources and services” to “require vendors to 
guarantee that products and services comply with 
Section 508 regulations, Web Content 
Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, or other applicable 
accessibility standards and guidelines.”

<http://www.nfb.org/marc-maurer-bio>Dr. Marc 
Maurer, President of the 
Federation of the Blind, said: “We applaud 
today’s settlement and the commitment of the Free 
Library of Philadelphia to create an e-reader 
lending program that will serve all of its 
patrons, including those who are blind or who 
cannot read print for other reasons.  The 
library’s commitment to procure accessible 
technology means that vendors of e-reading 
technology and content will have to make their 
products accessible in order to sell them to the 
Free Library of Philadelphia.  We hope that other 
libraries, educational institutions, and other 
entities with legal obligations to serve people 
with disabilities will emulate the approach being 
adopted by the Free Library of Philadelphia.  If 
they do, we believe that all e-book content will 
ultimately be accessible to the blind, giving us 
equal access to the printed word.”


About the National Federation of the Blind
The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) is the 
oldest, largest, and most influential nationwide 
membership organization of blind people in the 
United States.  Founded in 1940, the NFB 
advocates for the civil rights and equality of 
blind Americans, and develops innovative 
education, technology, and training programs to 
provide the blind and those who are losing vision 
with the tools they need to become independent 
and successful.  We need your support.  To make a 
donation, please go to <http://www.nfb.org>www.nfb.org.

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