Our government at work: When the Kindle DX -- the larger one about the size of a legal pad -- came out, one of its envisioned uses was for textbooks. College students could save hundreds of dollars in fees and not have to lug all those books around. So Amazon decided to try that idea out, creating a polot program to give Kindles to students at a few universities. Enter the Department of Justice:
From its introduction in 2007, the Kindle has drawn criticism from the National Federation of the Blind and other activist groups. While the Kindle's text-to-speech feature could read a book aloud, its menu functions required sight to operate. "If you could get a sighted person to fire up the device and start reading the book to you, that's fine," says Chris Danielsen, a spokesman for the federation. "But other than that, there was really no way to use it”...
In May 2009, Amazon announced the pilot program, under which it would provide Kindle DX readers to a few universities. It wasn't a huge deal; Princeton's plan, for example, involved three courses and a total of 51 students, and only in the fall semester of that year. University spokeswoman Emily Aronson says the program was voluntary and students could opt out of using the Kindle. "There were no students with a visual impairment who had registered for the three classes," says Aronson.
Nevertheless, in June 2009, the federation filed a complaint with the Justice Department, accusing the schools of violating the ADA. Perez and his team went to work.
"We acted swiftly to respond to complaints we received about the use of the Amazon Kindle," Perez recently told a House committee. "We must remain vigilant to ensure that as new devices are introduced, people with disabilities are not left behind."
If I can't have it, no one else can. Is that the new "equality"?