----- Original Message ----- From: "slovering" <slovering@xxxxxxx>
To: <leadership@xxxxxxx> Cc: <announce@xxxxxxx> Sent: Thursday, June 25, 2009 4:03 PM Subject: [leadership] Arizona State suit For further information, contact: Mitch Pomerantz, President (626) 372-5150 mitch.pomerantz@xxxxxxxxxxxxx The American Council of the Blind Joins with the National Federation of the Blind In Suit Against Arizona State University Suit Seeks to Prohibit the University from Using Inaccessible e-Book Readers like the Kindle DX The American Council of the Blind (ACB) joined with the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) in filing suit today in federal court against Arizona State University. The suit seeks an injunction to prohibit the university from using the new Kindle DX e-book reader produced by Amazon.com, Inc., because it is not accessible to blind students. This suit is brought on behalf of blind students at Arizona State University who will be prevented from independently accessing their own textbooks on the Kindle DX if this program takes effect in the fall as planned. Complainants allege that this is blatant discrimination against students who are blind, as well as a violation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, along with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Reading books on the Kindle DX is not an option for students who are blind. Operation of this device requires vision, since the menus are only displayed visually. When Arizona State University announced its intent to require students to use this device to access class materials, it essentially barred blind students from their programs. Darrell Shandrow, a blind student pursuing a degree in journalism at ASU, said: "Not having access to the advanced reading features of the Kindle DX - including the ability to download books and course materials, add my own bookmarks and notes, and look up supplemental information instantly on the Internet when I encounter it in my reading -will lock me out of this new technology and put me and other blind students at a competitive disadvantage relative to our sighted peers. While my peers will have instant access to their course materials in electronic form, I will still have to wait weeks or months for accessible texts to be prepared for me, and these texts will not provide the access and features available to other students. That is why I am standing up for myself and with other blind Americans to end this blatant discrimination." Rebecca Bridges, president of the National Alliance of Blind Students (NABS), a special-interest affiliate of ACB, said: "NABS is disappointed in Arizona State University's decision to endorse a solution that is not accessible to all of their students. By requiring that textbooks be accessed on the Kindle DX book reader, this public institution has placed a barrier in front of its blind and visually impaired students that does not exist for their sighted colleagues." Mitch Pomerantz, president of the American Council of the Blind, commented: "ACB's involvement in this litigation is based upon our concern that to permit, unchallenged, colleges and universities to require students to purchase the Kindle in order to access all materials for a particular class is blatantly discriminatory toward blind and visually impaired students, and sets a dangerous precedent which other institutions of higher learning could choose to follow. We must vigorously oppose any such initiative until such time as Amazon, Inc. begins manufacturing Kindle products with full accessibility. To do anything less would be to turn our backs on the thousands of young blind and visually impaired men and women who are seeking to be productive, contributing members of society by obtaining a college education." About the American Council of the Blind The American Council of the Blind is a national membership organization. Its members are blind, visually impaired, and fully sighted individuals who are concerned about the dignity and well-being of blind people throughout the nation. Formed in 1961, ACB is one of the largest organizations of blind people in the world, with more than 70 state and special-interest affiliates and a nationwide network of chapters and members spanning the globe. For more information about the American Council of the Blind, contact: Melanie Brunson, Executive Director, American Council of the Blind, 2200 Wilson Blvd., Suite 650, Arlington, VA 22201; phone (202) 467-5081 or toll-free, 1-800-424-8666; or visit the web site, www.acb.org. Check out the TABI resource web page at http://acorange.home.comcast.net/TABI to unsubscribe send a message, containing a subject line of the word unsubscribe, to tabi-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx if you'd like to unsubscribe you can do so through the freelists.org web interface, or by sending an email to the address tabi-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word "unsubscribe" in the subject.