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Amazon Kindle 2

My wife gave me a Kindle 2 for my birthday. The Kindle 2 supports a text-to-speech mode which enables blind users to read Kindle books. I have three comments about the Kindle 2 for blind users:

1. There appears some confusion as to whether TTS is a permanant feature of the Kindle 2. The documentation indicates that this is an experimental feature. No guarentee is made that in future versions of their software that this feature could not go away.
2. The documentation clearly states that TTS is enabled on a per-book basis at the pleasure of the publisher. I called into's Customer Support line twice and asked about whether this blocking of TTS could be disabled for blind users. In both cases they clearly indicated that this was impossible and this was something the publishers mandated. When I asked about the legality of them selling books to the blind and disabling TTS they indicated that Kindle books are not covered by current accessibility law.
3. The Kindle 2 (even with TTS) isn't an obviously positive device for blind users. You need help getting it set-up. There doesn't appesr to be "screenless" set-up. I have not made it through the User's Guide yet, but to enter TTS mode requires that you make some decisions "blind", i.e. to enable TTS you must either be in a text-field or a book's content. To get to the book requires memorization of the order of books and such. Maybe there are hotkeys I don't yet know about that make this process easier.

By and large, the Kindle 2 appears to be a very nice device for sighted people (according to my wife). For us, I think we should avoid it and steer more in the direction of the DAISY technology as it is geared for blind use and definitely provides access to books in audio form, regardless of the blocks publishers may want to put on them.

I would be curious to learn the legality of Amazon and their publishers selectively disabling TTS on their audiobooks. I am no lawyer, and surely neither were the two Customer Support people I talked to. How does ADA law intersect with Kindle books?


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Re:Amazon Kindle 2

Can anyone comment on the quality of the "voice". Is it good. Soneone said that the quality is poor and that one would not want to listen to a whole book with it.
They said it is not the quality that one gets if one to purchase an audio book.
Also does one have any more information on the books available.for example are best sellers available with the audio feature.


Re:Amazon Kindle 2

I do not see the Kindles being marketed for blind/low vision users so guess they have to go by the individual publishers wishes about allowing text to speech. the kindles seem to be marketed for the commuter on the go who wants to read the book, magazine, newspaper in a small space or even one handed ....

the kindle dx might help low vision readers with its 20 pt font (largest size available ) and large 9.7 inch (measured diagonally) screen....

I am waiting on the upcoming NLS digital talking book readers and the downloadable books at BARD that will make things easier all around

Re:Amazon Kindle 2

I have just foun, via a Google Alert for :ow Vision, an e-book reader comparison:
It covers about nine (?) with a lot of specific details but is skimpy on discussing legibility for the low visioned.
I don't recall seeing a date.

Not finding a message headed "e-Book Readers", I will start one so all reports can be together.

Not finding a message headed e-Book Readers, I will start one, and say any more here. ===gm===

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