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eReaders and the Visually Impaired

This is as much as issue of copyright law as it is the devices themselves. Many e-readers can read-aloud (indeed many of Gale’s portals and service do already) but some copyright owners have denied this right to e-publishers.

Department of Ed Lays Down Law on Kindle E-Reader Usage

“The United States Department of Education and Department of Justice have just issued a reminder calling for colleges and universities–as well as K-12 school districts–to make sure devices such as e-readers that are required in the classroom comply with accessibility laws. The federal action came on the heels of a settlement agreement made by Justice with five institutions that were running Amazon Kindle e-book readers as pilot programs. According to the agencies, Kindle devices aren’t accessible to students who are blind or have low vision.

“If we don’t consider individuals with disabilities when we integrate new technologies into the educational environment, students with disabilities can and will be left behind as their non-disabled peers gain the benefits of learning that are enhanced by technological advances. This result would be inconsistent with our civil rights laws,” said Russlynn Ali, assistant secretary for civil rights for the Department of Education.”

Maybe the force of the power of the DOE will move the needle on this issue.


Posted on: July 11, 2010, 3:16 pm Category: Uncategorized

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