American Council of the Blind Denounces the Introduction of Amazon’s Inaccessible Kindle Fire

For Immediate Release
Contact: Eric Bridges
Director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs
American Council of the Blind
Phone: 202-467-5081

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ARLINGTON, Va., Oct. 4, 2011 – Last week when Amazon introduced the Kindle Fire, it marked yet another product offering that the blind community will not be able to use. Mitch Pomerantz, president of the American Council of the Blind (ACB), said, “I had expected that, unlike previous releases of Kindle devices, Amazon would have included accessibility to Kindle Fire for people with disabilities right from its design phase given the accessibility that has been included in similar products that are on the market. Amazon’s blatant disregard for the blind consumer demonstrates a profound arrogance and represents technological discrimination against our community.” Pratik Patel, chairman of ACB’s Information Access Committee, stated, “As a blind consumer who wants access to the nearly one million-book Kindle catalog or access to the 10,000-plus instant video selections on a mobile device, I must ask why Amazon.com did not pick its underlying platform with accessibility in mind. The product undoubtedly went through a technical assessment period. Why did the company have the time to develop a new browser but not a magnifier or a screen reader? I am forced to conclude that Amazon simply does not care about the blind community.” About the American Council of the Blind The American Council of the Blind is the largest consumer-based organization of blind and visually impaired Americans advocating for the rights of blind Americans. Comprised of more than 70 affiliates across the United States, the organization is dedicated to making it possible for blind and visually impaired Americans to participate fully in all aspects of American society. For more information, visit www.acb.org; write to American Council of the Blind, 2200 Wilson Blvd., Suite 650, Arlington, VA 22201; phone (202) 467-5081; or fax (703) 465-5085.

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