[access-uk] Accessible Kindle App for Windows PC by Amazon

  • From: "Dave Mack" <dcmack2@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 8 Jun 2011 11:08:27 -0700

 Fellow subscribers in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and United States:

This is an invitation only, so please only reply on the newly created email 
list described below, if interested.

I wish to invite members to a new and specific discussion list regarding the 
relatively new and free Amazon Kindle Book-Reader application for Windows with 
Accessibility Plug-in for blind and vision-impaired customers.  I should add 
that this list is for users and interested paarties and is not affiliated with 
Amazon nor am I affiliated with Amazon except as a vision-impaired customer.

Let me begin by saying that In spite of some deficiencies described below, I 
applaud Amazon for their efforts thus far in finally making this free app 
available to blind and low-vision Amazon customers which makes a number of 
books accessible which were otherwise not available in other formats and 
venues.  For those unfamiliar with the free Windows Kindle text-to-speech 
book-reader application, it is available to JAWS and NVDA screenreader users at 
the following location:
www.amazon.com/kindle/accessibility.   It is also available to users in the 
United Kingdom, Austrailia and Canada in addition to the United States.

In addition to reading books aloud whith TTS enabled, it also reads text aloud 
in books with the TTS turned off in standard Kindle versions since it is an 
assistive technology and may legally do so in the aforementioned countries.

I have created a special group email discussion list (as described in more 
detail  below) entitled "Accessible Kindle App" to discuss the current status 
and limitations of the reader for blind and low-vision users.

You may join the list at:
accessible-kindle-app-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with 'subscribe' in the Subject 
field OR by visiting the list page at 

The purpose of our group  for blind and vision-impaired users (and potential 
users) is to share experiences with this book reader and especially to discuss 
any features or conveniences people would like to have added to the free 
Accessible Windows PC version of the Kindle reader in future upgrades.

Since there is strength in numbers, I hope we can get a sufficient number of 
members in the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia so that when we contact Amazon 
and its Kindle development team we can initiate upgrades more quickly than when 
trying to contact Amazon alone. 

Please encourage your friends and acquaintances in the blind and loe-vision 
community to join our list as either users of the Kindle App or as potential 
users in the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom and Australia where the Accessible 
Kindle Application is currently available.  Again, there is strength in numbers.

Some limitations I have noted since the app became available early this year 
are as follows . . . 

Presently, the free Accessibility Version of Kindle App for Windows PC lacks 
the following capabilities of the Standard Version: There is no dictionary word 
look-up and there is no copy & paste feature for adding text from books to  
one's notes.  Hence, blind students are at a disadvantage to their sighted 
counterparts when using the app for textbooks, etc.

There is also no library feature implemented at this time nor has page 
numbering been implemented as in the Standard Windows Version.

Currently, the Accessibility Version does not support Braille, nor is there an 
option to use other text-to-speech voices other than the two Nuance voices 
provided with the application, but the TTS issue is minor, in my opinion, and 
the Braille issue more pressing for many, I presume.

Also, there is presently no pronunciation modification available for the two 
bundled Nuance voices - but, again,  this is only an occasionally minor 
annoyance for me personally.

More surprisingly, there is no keystroke combination available to read one's 
current book location expressed as a percentage of book read and the only way 
to access that locator is by using a physical mouse at the very bottom-center  
of the application where a tiny box is situated and may only be accessed by 
low-vision users with a mmouse, as pressing the tab key will not get one there 

There is also presently a bug in the software in "continuous reading mode" 
whereby the reader automatically turns pages in many book titles from some 
publishers and keeps announcing "There is no text on this page" and keeps 
turning pages and incorrectly making the same announcement all the way to the 
end of the book.

Lastly, the highlight feature for loe-vision users should have the option for 
bright yellow orbright  orange highlighting when using a black background for 
white text as blue highlighting against a black backgground is hard to discern 
by many low-vision persons.

This is just a list of my own observations and I encourage comments from others 
in the Accessible Kindle App group  so we can address these and other issues 
collectively since Amazon - like some others - may drag its feet when making 
changes to the accessible version without our collective voices being heard as 
customers and potential users.

Again, for info on the Accessible Version of Kindle App for PC, click this link"

If alternate links are available in the U.K. and Australia, please post them in 
the new group.

Best regards to all and I welcome all comments at the group list I have created 
exclusively for that purpose.  Again, you may join the list at 
accessible-kindle-app-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with 'subscribe' in the Subject 
field OR by visiting the list page at 

Since I have just started this list, please excuse any problems you may 
encounter and send problems to me personally at dcmack2@xxxxxxxxxxxx

I have only posted this here with the best of intentions.  Thanks to all 
subscribers  who have helped in my transition as I have lost vision in my later 

Please forward to others who may be interested.

Grandpa Dave in California - a low-vision user of the Kindle Windows App with 
Accessibility Plug-in

Other related posts:

  • » [access-uk] Accessible Kindle App for Windows PC by Amazon - Dave Mack