[nfbwatlk] Amazon Working on Accessibility Features for Kindle, WebProNews, December 7 2009

Nightingale, Noel Noel.Nightingale at ed.gov
Wed Dec 9 22:37:52 UTC 2009


Amazon Working on Accessibility Features for Kindle
Amazon Making Kindle Improvements for Blind and Dyslexic
By Chris Crum

Amazon is making some enhancements to its Kindle electronic reader, aimed at improving the reading experience for people who are blind, visually impaired, or dyslexic.

"Kindle is for anyone who loves to read-in fact, we've heard from thousands of vision-impaired customers and customers with learning disabilities over the past two years who have been helped tremendously by Kindle," said Amazon Kindle Vice President Ian Freed, Vice President.

"With some key modifications, we believe Kindle can be a breakthrough device for the blind, and the team is excited about making these enhancements," added Freed.

To make Kindle more useful for the blind, the Kindle team is currently working on an audible menuing system so blind and vision-impaired readers can easily navigate to books without the need for assistance. Blind people will also be able to listen to books with the "Read to Me" feature, just as they can currently do with the Kindle.

Amazon will also include a new "super size" font, which increases the number of font sizes from six to eleven. The seventh size will be twice the height and width of the current largest font.

Amazon's new Kindle features are scheduled to be released next summer. The device saw record sales in November. Amazon said it was the most "wished" for, the most "gifted," and the number one best-selling product across all of Amazon's product categories. Amazon was of course one of the top retail sites for Thanksgiving and Black Friday, and will likely be up there for the holiday season as a whole.

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