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AFB  ®
Technology News for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired
From the American Foundation for the Blind
 December 2011 Issue  Volume 12  Number 12

Letters to the Editor

Can a blind person navigate a Kindle Keyboard reader to access Audible books?

Dear AccessWorld Editor,

Can a blind person navigate a Kindle Keyboard reader to access Audible books? Please send me any articles regarding this topic.

Thank you,


AccessWorld author Darren Burton responds:

Hello Sue,

The answer is yes, a blind person can navigate and read Audible books on a Kindle Keyboard device. From what I have learned recently, the Kindle Keyboard is exactly the same as the Kindle 3, which I reviewed in AccessWorld. Please be aware the other Kindle devices currently available are not at all accessible to people who are blind. You might also find of interest this Serotalk review of the Kindle.

Here is some information from the Serotalk article that addresses Audible books:

The Kindle supports reading of Audible content which can be purchased directly from the Kindle store and downloaded over WiFi, or transferred from the PC when the Kindle is connected via USB. As with other types of content, you may select the Audible book you'd like to read from the home screen. After you've pressed the center button on the 5-way navigation controller, the book opens, announcing your current position and the remaining time in the file. To play or pause, press the space bar. Once the book is playing, you can use the left and right arrows on the 5-way navigation controller to view options, which include the ability to move to beginning, move backward and forward 30 seconds, and move to previous or next section.

While we believe that an enhancement for adjusting playback speed would be a useful feature for blind and sighted users alike, there are no accessibility concerns with the current implementation of audiobook playback.

Thank you for reading AccessWorld. Just as a reminder, if you have an iPhone, you can download the AccessWorld app, free, from the App store.

Darren Burton, AccessWorld Author

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Copyright © 2011 American Foundation for the Blind. All rights reserved. AccessWorld is a trademark of the American Foundation for the Blind.

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