Amazon, Kindle, FCC, accessible ebook readers and the AppleVis Hall of Fame

Other Apple Chat
I can't help but think that, as it now seems the unlocking of VO on the app was a cynical move to bolster the case of Amazon to the FCC to have e-book readers excluded from recent US accessibility legislation, they really don't deserve it.



Submitted by Bat on Sunday, August 11, 2013

They don't, this little pat on the head for Amazon will do absolutely nothing to encourage them to make any of their other products accessible. They should not have even been on the list for consideration.

Submitted by Michael Hansen on Sunday, August 11, 2013

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

In reply to by Bat

Hello, While it is unfortunate that Amazon and other E-reader manufacturers are petitioning the U.S. Federal Communications Comission (FCC) for an exemption in upcoming accessibility requirements, I don't think the two are at all related.

Submitted by Clare Page on Sunday, August 11, 2013

Hi! I understand the point your making, but, if Amazon really cared that little about accessibility, do you think they would have bothered to make the Kindle app for IOS usable with VoiceOver? I personally don't think so, but that's just my opinion! I admit I voted for the Kindle app when the latest batch of nominees to the AppleVis hall of fame was published, because it has opened up access to so many books which we blind users might not have had the chance to read otherwise. Disgraceful as it is that Amazon wants its stand-alone e-book reader to be exempt from accessibility obligations, in the USA at least, I'm personally grateful that they made it possible for us to use their Kindle app for IOS with VoiceOver. Since the news about Amazon's wish to be exempt from accessibility legislation in the USA came quite a while after the Kindle app was nominated for the AppleVis hall of fame, I don't think we should make a knee-jerk decision to throw the app out of the hall of fame straight away: after all, the Kindle app is still accessible with VO, and I don't suppose Amazon will reverse that now that they've made it happen.

Submitted by Kyle on Sunday, August 11, 2013

while its not one of there main points, i think amazon will still try to argue to not have to put accessibility on there devices. they will say look our e reader app is accessible so use that not our devices. which is a whole big hunk of steaming malarkey. that requires a third party device purchase, which isn't cheep. more expensive than a Kendal fire.this app shouldn't be judged on the ways a company, in this case amazon, uses there app. the contest is a contest for the best apps around.i think this is a great app that should be in the hall of fame. if someone from amazon ever sees this i hope that it encourages them to make all of ther devices accessible and then everyone can beniffit from everything amazon can offer.

I have no wish to hall another piece of kit around, so even if a dedicated Amazon e-reader was available to me as a blind user I would still prefer to use the Kindle app on my iPhone. The Kindle app might represent Amazon at its most altruistic, and their desire to be excluded from having to meet accessibility standards might represent absolute corporate cynicism. What's new? I'm greatful for the Kindle app, and I'm glad it's significance to the blind community has been recognised.