Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Petition Asking Amazon to make the New Kindle 2 Fully Accessible

A petition has been started asking Amazon Technologies, Inc. to add voice prompts to make the new Kindle 2 fully accessible to blind and partially sighted persons.

rEad and Sign Petition Asking Amazon to Make the Kindle 2 Fully Accessible

 The text reads as follows:

We, the undersigned, ask Amazon Technologies, Inc., and its affiliates, to modify the new Kindle 2, and add the ability to have all menu choices spoken with voice prompts, so that all blind and sighted individuals may purchase, and make full use of this innovative product.

First, we give acknowledgement and appreciation to for taking the initiative to make your website and online store accessible to those with visual impairments.

As a result of these efforts, thousands of visually impaired persons make purchases from on a regular basis, and thousands of people pay for monthly and annual subscriptions to

We also hope that will take into consideration that the population is aging, and for many, their eyesight is deteriorating.

Because and offer 230,000 publications, and because both entities offer immediate access to newly released works, we are simply asking for the same level of immediate access, and are willing to pay for this access, if your technology permits us to do so.

Because providing talking menus will increase the chance of adoption of this device by schools and universities, because sighted individuals will benefit by having spoken prompts while driving, and because providing full access to the Kindle 2 will result in sales that will outweigh the expenditure of making all menu choices speak their status, we ask Amazon Technologies, Inc., and its affiliates, to make the necessary firmware upgrade to give access to this very loyal group of reading enthusiasts.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

From a programming standpoint this actually wouldn't require much effort. Since the device knows what menu option is highlighted, and has Realspeak integrated already, all it would have to do is check whether spoken prompts are enabled and, if they are, speak the text and status of the option highlighted with the voice parameters the user has set. An interrupt monitor would be nice too, where by the device keeps track of whether it's speaking or not and will interrupt if you move your menu selection and it's still speaking. It's fairly straight forward.