[accesscomp] letters to Amazon

  • From: "Bob Acosta" <boacosta@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "tektalk discussion" <tektalkdiscussion@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2012 15:36:53 -0800

I got this from another list.

-----Original Message----- 
From: Ray Campbell
Sent: Monday, November 19, 2012 11:18 PM
To: leadership@xxxxxxx ; 'acb-l'
Subject: [acb-l] The Amazon Kindle School Deployment Issue

Hello ACB Leaders and Members:

There has been much recent discussion about Amazon.com's efforts to have the
Kindle E-readers deployed in schools across the United States, possibly
replacing textbooks and other printed materials.  This stems from efforts by
the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) to generate large numbers of
letters to Amazon which they plan to deliver to them in the near future
opposing these efforts.  NFB's view is the more letters they can present,
the greater show of strength will be shown, and there's something to be said
for that.

We in ACB do not tell our members how to respond to efforts like this.
Therefore, if any individuals are minded to put together a letter and send
it to NFB as part of their efforts, he or she should feel free to do so.
However, let me also suggest that it would be just as affective to draft
your own letter on this issue, from you as an individual, your affiliate,
your chapter or all of the above.

Such a letter should be sent to
Mr. Jeff Bezos, Chief Executive Officer
    Amazon.com Inc.
1200 12th Ave. South, Ste. 1200
Seattle, WA  98144
jeff@xxxxxxxxxxx

I would suggest that some or all of the following talking points be
addressed in your letter:
1.  Any school or school district that participates in deployment of the
Kindle risks violating the letter and spirit of the Individuals with
Disabilities Educationn Act (IDEA) since the Kindle is not accessible to all
students with visual impairments.
2.  Deployment of inaccessible Kindles risks putting students with visual
impairments further and further behind their sighted peers, as they will not
have access to the same materials their peers are using.
3.  Other devices, such as Apple's iPad, offer access to electronic
materials and are fully accessible to all students with visual impairments.
4.  While the Kindle's ability to play books audibly and its large print
screens are good starts, it is still not fully accessible because it offers
no voice output for menus and other controls and messages.  Furthermore, it
cannot interface with Braille displays or other adaptive technologies.

Again, how each of you chooses to address the Amazon Kindle issue with
regard to deployment in schools is up to you.  The important thing is that
we all address it.  It is the future of children with visual impairments we
are talking about.  We cannot stand by and watch a company make efforts to
deploy technology in schools that puts our kids further and further behind.
Thank you for your time and attention to this issue.

Ray Campbell, Chair, ACB Special Education Task Force
Ray1530@xxxxxxxxxx

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Robert Acosta, President
Helping Hands for the Blind
Email: boacosta@xxxxxxxxxxx
Web Site: www.helpinghands4theblind.org

You can assist Helping Hands for the Blind by donating your used computers to 
us. If you have a blind friend in need of a computer, please mail us at the 
above address.

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