Possible campaign for making the Kindle App accessible?

iOS and iPadOS
Dear All, As an avid reader and postgraduate researcher, I like to have access to as many books as possible. I already have access to I Books, Overdrive and ReadToGo apps but notice that the Kindle book store has a variety of books not available in the accessible apps I already own. As many blind people like me have found, the Kindle app doesn't provide access to the Kindle book range through the IOS app but does through the Windows operating system where text to speech voices are used to provide access to a large percentage of Kindle books. Can members of the Apple Vis team and membership support a campaign to get the Kindle app developers to produce an upgrade for the Kindle app like the Windows based app, so that blind users can use the IOS Kindle app with text to speech voices? Perhaps also the ability to choose a range of voices or the ability to download your own voices e.g. USA, UK, French male and female would be useful? Many thanks, Steve Carey.



Submitted by Bryan Jones on Monday, March 26, 2012

Yes, I agree this would be a worthy campaign. As a long-time Amazon.com customer and Amazon Prime member, I appreciate the decent level of accessibility they incorporate into their website and their Amazon IOS App. Unfortunately this commitment to accessibility has not historically extended to their Kindle IOS App nor to their library of streaming video rentals. Recently, they released version 3 of their Kindle IOS App. While they've made some progress in terms of button labeling, it seems they've continued the practice of denying VO access to the book text. I've expressed my displeasure to them several times over the past year and followed up with another note last week. This time I received a rare response which I've pasted below for your review if interested. Note that Amazon provides an email address to contact their Accessibility Team: accessibility-feedback@amazon.com Begin forwarded message: From: "Duffy, Robert" Subject: RE: Continued inequality of access for blind Users to several Amazon offerings. Date: March 16, 2012 1:34:32 PM EDT To: Bryan Jones, "accessibility-feedback@amazon.com" Bryan, Thank you for your feedback on the recent changes to the iOS Kindle Apps. The accessibility program at Amazon continually work with developers across the company to make them aware of accessibility issues within their software. As it happens we have a meeting with the Kindle team today and we will be raising your email with them for discussion. We really do appreciate you as a customer and I want you to know that your feedback is very valuable and will always be acted upon by the accessibility program. Regards, Rob Duffy Accessibility Technical Program Manager. -----Original Message----- From: Bryan Jones Sent: Thursday, March 15, 2012 4:37 PM To: accessibility-feedback@amazon.com Subject: Re: Continued inequality of access for blind Users to several Amazon offerings. Dear Amazon Accessibility Team, I'm wondering if you might be kind enough to answer the questions I posed last month. I appreciate that you've done some work to improve the labeling of buttons in today's release of the Kindle 3 IOS App, but it seems you've still chosen to prevent blind folks from reading Kindle titles. Your choice to continue this practice means I will make my book purchases from vendors such as Apple who choose to allow equal access to book content. I will also continue to ask friends and family to make their book purchases from a vendor other than Amazon. Again, I'd appreciate the courtesy of a response explaining the rationale behind your choices to prevent equal access to your Kindle books and streaming movie rentals. Regards, Bryan Jones

Submitted by steven carey on Monday, March 26, 2012

Dear Brian, What a great response, you always learn that you are not alone when using forums like this. Your views are very similar to mine and I like your style by using the economic argument with Amazon! From your e-mail adress, I guess you must be in the USA, which I wish I were at the moment because in the UK we don't get all the content offered by Bookshare and there are a number of titles by John Creswell for example that I would like to support my research methodology work in mixed methods and I can't get any of these books anywhere else, not even from the RNIB. Perhaps one day Amazon and other similar providers of e-books will at last understand that there are millions of us around the world that cannot access their content but would love to and will also be happy to pay for the privilage. Just allow us access! Many thanks, Steve.

Thanks for the posting and the concerns that you are all are having with the Kindle or particular with Amazon issues. It is great to have a place for everyone to voice up on their concerns and that is very welcoming here at AppleVis! May I suggest that everyone that is having issues with the Kindle that if you like to see as a suggestion to be included in one of our Compaign of the Month. Come here and submit your request: http://www.applevis.com/campaign/nominate We can't pick anything for the Compaign of the Month if people don't submit it here. The more that people submit of the same app the higher the possibility that it could be chosen. So good luck on your journey and hope this will help you out.

Submitted by Sammy on Monday, July 9, 2012

Is the Kindle still not accessible? I noticed these posts were a couple months old. I want to possibly get the kindle app, but can you even read the content? In the amazon app, can you read ebooks? how accessible is it?

Submitted by John Gassman on Sunday, September 2, 2012

While the buttons are fairly well labeled, the content of the book I was sampling for free was not. I'm glad I didn't buy it yet. I've never tried Kindle on my PC but will do so as long as the iPhone app is inaccessible. I believe it is definitely worth nominating as a campaign of the month and I will do so today!

Submitted by John Gassman on Sunday, September 2, 2012

Since the Kindle for iPhone is currently not accessible,I downloaded the app for the PC. I can't get it to work properly. I assume this is because I don't know what I'm doing. Are there any documents or suggestions from people who have used the PC app to read kindle books? I downloaded a book to my iPhone and would like to do the same for my PC but it didn't work correctly. Are there reading commands for the PC. The PC app seems inaccessible as wel although, that's probably due to my lack of experience with the app. I'm using JAWS latest release with various voices, windows 7 operating system. thanks for any help or suggestions!

Dear John, Great to hear that you agree with my comments and you are prepared to enter the Kindle app into the campaign of the month list. I must confess that I would have done it earlier but have been very busy over the last few months. I would of course support your campaign as I have too checked the IOS Kindle app again and it's still not useable, dispite previous comments from the Amazon Kindle accessability team. As far as your comments go about the PC version of the app, you are correct, it is difficult to use the Kindle app on PC but you need to keep a couple of points in mind. 1. You can't use JAWS to read any book content on the PC version, JAWS can only be used to change the settings i.e. type of voice, speed of reading etc. 2. Kindle uses it's own voices to read the books. You can only use two voices I believe, one USA female and one USA male and they arn't that great. I know people moan continually about the IOS voices but the British male voice I use with my Iphone is 100% better than those used on the Kindle PC version app. 3. You can only listen to the book from front to back, you can't navigate through the book (as far as I can work out). I would like the opportunity to read a line or even a word, simply because I am a researcher and need that type of facility to get difficult spellings and names and when quoting from an author, it is vital to be able to read over an intended reference, rather than having to record what you are listening to with an mp3 player and stop and start that device instead to hear what the quote is. As I said, the PC Kindle app is much to be desired but as we always have to say, it's better than nothing. Perhaps we now might get some movement from Amazon if we do get this as a campaign to make the Kindle IOS app accessible, although don't hold your breath. Kind regards, Steve.