Amazon petitions US Commission to exempt kindle from US accessiblity laws…


Three of the biggest e-book reader manufacturers – Amazon, Kobo and Sony – have petitioned the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to ask for exemptions from US laws requiring products to be accessible to users with disabilities.


So, this appears pretty, odd, and on the face of it crazy, but let’s have a look at the actual laws in question

Having spent a few minutes browsing – I’m struggling to find much that I can imagine Amazon et al complaining about – the law is full of sensible stuff like hearing aids on telephones, and closed captioning on DVDs – my assumption is that this is actually the e-reader companies thinking ‘We don’t believe that this law applies to our kit, but given the millions of dollars in might cost us to be wrong, let’s get it signed off anyway”.

My take is this – ereaders are better if they are accessible to more people, and at this level we are really talking about speech synathesis and *maybe* switch access, but that would be at the extreme. The orginal Kindle was quite capable of this and it’s a feature I miss in my new one.  I’d like it brough back and the technology cost can’t be more than trival.

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