Fwd: [WebAIM] [Fwd: National Federation of the Blind and American Council of the Blind File Discrimination Suit Against Arizona State University]

For those schools looking to get on the Kindle bandwagon see this message.

---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Subject: National Federation of the Blind and American Council of the
Blind File Discrimination Suit Against Arizona State University
From:    "Lissner, Scott" <Lissner.2@OSU.EDU>
Date:    Fri, June 26, 2009 1:34 pm
To:      DSSHE-L@LISTSERV.BUFFALO.EDU
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

National Federation of the Blind and American Council of the Blind File
Discrimination Suit Against Arizona State University
6/25/2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:
Chris Danielsen
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)
cdanielsen@nfb.org
National Federation of the Blind and
American Council of the Blind
File Discrimination Suit Against Arizona State University
University's Amazon Kindle DX Pilot Program
Discriminates Against the Blind
Baltimore, Maryland (June 25, 2009): The National Federation of the
Blind (NFB) and the American Council of the Blind (ACB) filed suit today
against Arizona State University (ASU) to prevent the university from
deploying Amazon's Kindle DX electronic reading device as a means of
distributing electronic textbooks to its students because the device
cannot be used by blind students.  Darrell Shandrow, a blind ASU
student, is also a named plaintiff in the action.  The Kindle DX
features text-to-speech technology that can read textbooks aloud to
blind students.  The menus of the device are not accessible to the
blind, however, making it impossible for a blind user to purchase books
from Amazon's Kindle store, select a book to read, activate the
text-to-speech feature, and use the advanced reading functions available
on the Kindle DX.  In addition to ASU, five other institutions of higher
education are deploying the Kindle DX as part of a pilot project to
assess the role of electronic textbooks and reading devices in the
classroom.  The NFB and ACB have also filed complaints with the Office
for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education and the Civil
Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, asking for
investigations of these five institutions, which are: Case Western
Reserve University, the Darden School of Business at the University of
Virginia, Pace University, Princeton University, and Reed College.  The
lawsuit and complaints allege violations of the Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind,
said: "Given the highly-advanced technology involved, there is no good
reason that Amazon's Kindle DX device should be inaccessible to blind
students.  Amazon could have used the same text-to-speech technology
that reads e-books on the device aloud to make its menus accessible to
the blind, but it chose not to do so.  Worse yet, six American higher
education institutions that are subject to federal laws requiring that
they not discriminate against students with disabilities plan to deploy
this device, even though they know that it cannot be used by blind
students.  The National Federation of the Blind will not tolerate this
unconscionable discrimination against and callous indifference to the
right of blind students to receive an equal education.  We hope that
this situation can be rectified in a manner that allows this exciting
new reading technology to be made available to blind and sighted
students alike."
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."

###

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Fwd: [WebAIM] [Fwd: National Federation of the Blind and Americ

Not to be insensitive or anything, but shouldn't they also be suing the
university to prevent them from deploying print textbooks on exactly the
same grounds? There is nothing that requires Amazon to make the Kindle
accessible to the vision impaired. I would think that so long as the
university made the same materials available to the vision impaired
students, there is no real problem. Letting this argument prevail would
really put a damper on technological development in education.
Elmer.
Web guy at teknoids.net

On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 7:48 AM, steven perkins <scperkins@gmail.com> wrote:

> For those schools looking to get on the Kindle bandwagon see this message.
>
>
> ---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
> Subject: National Federation of the Blind and American Council of the
> Blind File Discrimination Suit Against Arizona State University
> From: "Lissner, Scott" <Lissner.2@OSU.EDU>
> Date: Fri, June 26, 2009 1:34 pm
> To: DSSHE-L@LISTSERV.BUFFALO.EDU
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> National Federation of the Blind and American Council of the Blind File
> Discrimination Suit Against Arizona State University
> 6/25/2009
> FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
> CONTACT:
> Chris Danielsen
> Director of Public Relations
> National Federation of the Blind
> (410) 659-9314, extension 2330
> (410) 262-1281 (Cell)
> cdanielsen@nfb.org
> National Federation of the Blind and
> American Council of the Blind
> File Discrimination Suit Against Arizona State University
> University's Amazon Kindle DX Pilot Program
> Discriminates Against the Blind
> Baltimore, Maryland (June 25, 2009): The National Federation of the
> Blind (NFB) and the American Council of the Blind (ACB) filed suit today
> against Arizona State University (ASU) to prevent the university from
> deploying Amazon's Kindle DX electronic reading device as a means of
> distributing electronic textbooks to its students because the device
> cannot be used by blind students.

RE: Fwd: [WebAIM] [Fwd: National Federation of the Blind and Am

"Letting this argument prevail would really put a damper on
technological development in education."

Okay, at first glance, I get that. But then, development for whom?

I may be mixing my teknoids hat with my progressive librarian hat - but
I think that reactions similar to that (my own included!) are exactly
why such suits need to be brought. Why should the sight impaired be
forced to wait for a retro-fit when this could have easily been built
accessibly from the ground up? I think the suit at least brings to the
forefront of discussion that, where possible, technological developments
in education need to benefit all, not increase the advantage some
already have. I don't think that's always possible, but university's
especially need to use their clout to push in that direction.

I'll be the first to acknowledge that I'm not sure how much more in
development $ costs and time costs Amazon would have had to put in to
make it's interface accessible.

_______________________________

Kimberli A. Morris

Penn State Dickinson School of Law
216 Lewis Katz Building / University Park, PA 16802
phone: 814.863.0885 / fax: 814.867.0404 / e-mail: kam59@dsl.psu.edu

http://www.personal.psu.edu/kam59/blogs/biblio-files/blog/

From: teknoids-bounces@ruckus.law.cornell.edu
[mailto:teknoids-bounces@ruckus.law.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of Elmer
Masters
Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 2:19 PM
To: Teknoids
Subject: Re: [teknoids] Fwd: [WebAIM] [Fwd: National Federation of the
Blind and American Council of the Blind File Discrimination Suit
AgainstArizona State University]

Not to be insensitive or anything, but shouldn't they also be suing the
university to prevent them from deploying print textbooks on exactly the
same grounds? There is nothing that requires Amazon to make the Kindle
accessible to the vision impaired. I would think that so long as the
university made the same materials available to the vision impaired
students, there is no real problem. Letting this argument prevail would
really put a damper on technological development in education."

Elmer.

Web guy at teknoids.net

On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 7:48 AM, steven perkins <scperkins@gmail.com>
wrote:

For those schools looking to get on the Kindle bandwagon see this
message.

---------------------------- Original Message
----------------------------
Subject: National Federation of the Blind and American Council of the
Blind File Discrimination Suit Against Arizona State University
From: "Lissner, Scott" <Lissner.2@OSU.EDU>
Date: Fri, June 26, 2009 1:34 pm
To: DSSHE-L@LISTSERV.BUFFALO.EDU
------------------------------------------------------------------------
--

National Federation of the Blind and American Council of the Blind File
Discrimination Suit Against Arizona State University
6/25/2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:
Chris Danielsen
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)
cdanielsen@nfb.org
National Federation of the Blind and
American Council of the Blind
File Discrimination Suit Against Arizona State University
University's Amazon Kindle DX Pilot Program
Discriminates Against the Blind
Baltimore, Maryland (June 25, 2009): The National Federation of the
Blind (NFB) and the American Council of the Blind (ACB) filed suit today
against Arizona State University (ASU) to prevent the university from
deploying Amazon's Kindle DX electronic reading device as a means of
distributing electronic textbooks to its students because the device
cannot be used by blind students.

Fwd: [WebAIM] [Fwd: National Federation of the Blindand American

I too wondered about the text to speech functionality, perhaps this is a
push to get that back..

Of course, there are other disabilities then that could be disadvantaged...

On 6/30/09 2:59 PM, "Morris, Kimberli" <kam59@dsl.psu.edu> wrote:

> ³Letting this argument prevail would really put a damper on technological
> development in education.²
>
> Okay, at first glance, I get that. But then, development for whom?
>
> I may be mixing my teknoids hat with my progressive librarian hat ­ but I
> think that reactions similar to that (my own included!) are exactly why such
> suits need to be brought. Why should the sight impaired be forced to wait for
> a retro-fit when this could have easily been built accessibly from the ground
> up? I think the suit at least brings to the forefront of discussion that,
> where possible, technological developments in education need to benefit all,
> not increase the advantage some already have. I don¹t think that¹s always
> possible, but university¹s especially need to use their clout to push in that
> direction.
>
> I¹ll be the first to acknowledge that I¹m not sure how much more in
> development $ costs and time costs Amazon would have had to put in to make
> it¹s interface accessible.
>
> _______________________________
> Kimberli A. Morris
> Penn State Dickinson School of Law
> 216 Lewis Katz Building / University Park, PA 16802
> phone: 814.863.0885 / fax: 814.867.0404 / e-mail: kam59@dsl.psu.edu
>
> http://www.personal.psu.edu/kam59/blogs/biblio-files/blog/
>
>
>
> From: teknoids-bounces@ruckus.law.cornell.edu
> [mailto:teknoids-bounces@ruckus.law.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of Elmer Masters
> Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 2:19 PM
> To: Teknoids
> Subject: Re: [teknoids] Fwd: [WebAIM] [Fwd: National Federation of the Blind
> and American Council of the Blind File Discrimination Suit AgainstArizona
> State University]
>
> Not to be insensitive or anything, but shouldn't they also be suing the
> university to prevent them from deploying print textbooks on exactly the same
> grounds? There is nothing that requires Amazon to make the Kindle accessible
> to the vision impaired. I would think that so long as the university made the
> same materials available to the vision impaired students, there is no real
> problem. Letting this argument prevail would really put a damper on
> technological development in education.²
>
>
>
> Elmer.
>
> Web guy at teknoids.net
>
> On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 7:48 AM, steven perkins <scperkins@gmail.com> wrote:
> For those schools looking to get on the Kindle bandwagon see this message.
>
>
> ---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
> Subject: National Federation of the Blind and American Council of the
> Blind File Discrimination Suit Against Arizona State University
> From: "Lissner, Scott" <Lissner.2@OSU.EDU>
> Date: Fri, June 26, 2009 1:34 pm
> To: DSSHE-L@LISTSERV.BUFFALO.EDU
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> National Federation of the Blind and American Council of the Blind File
> Discrimination Suit Against Arizona State University
> 6/25/2009
> FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
> CONTACT:
> Chris Danielsen
> Director of Public Relations
> National Federation of the Blind
> (410) 659-9314, extension 2330
> (410) 262-1281 (Cell)
> cdanielsen@nfb.org
> National Federation of the Blind and
> American Council of the Blind
> File Discrimination Suit Against Arizona State University
> University's Amazon Kindle DX Pilot Program
> Discriminates Against the Blind
> Baltimore, Maryland (June 25, 2009): The National Federation of the
> Blind (NFB) and the American Council of the Blind (ACB) filed suit today
> against Arizona State University (ASU) to prevent the university from
> deploying Amazon's Kindle DX electronic reading device as a means of
> distributing electronic textbooks to its students because the device
> cannot be used by blind students.
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> You are currently subscribed to teknoids as: tomryan@camlaw.rutgers.edu.
> To unsubscribe send a blank email to teknoids-leave@ruckus.law.cornell.edu
> --
> See the web interface at
> http://ruckus.law.cornell.edu/mailman/listinfo/teknoids to get your list
> password, unsubscribe, and view your list settings.

RE: Fwd: [WebAIM] [Fwd: National Federation of the Blind and Am

Hi Elmer,
I think this lawsuit is really interesting, and I've been reading the press releases from the NFB http://www.nfb.org/nfb/NewsBot.asp?MODE=VIEW&ID=449&SnID=1225016459 and the ACB http://www.acb.org/press-releases/2009-PR-Kindle.html about it. Here's what their Complaint says (http://www.shandrow.com/kindle/complaint.txt:) "Over 35 years after the passage of the Rehabilitation Act directed institutions like ASU to refrain from discriminating on the basis of disability in the operation of programs and activities, Defendants have adopted cutting edge technology - the Kindle DX -- to provide textbooks to ASU students in electronic format even though the Kindle technology is gratuitously (emphasis added) inaccessible to its blind students. They have done so as part of a pilot program designed to tout the Kindle DX's use in colleges and universities, which threatens to set an example of inaccessibility for other institutions to follow. Because, unlike ink on paper, electronic books are not inherently visual or aural and can therefore offer equal access to blind and sighted students and faculty alike, it is especially unfortunate that Defendants have abrogated their statutory responsibility to ensure that ASU adopts fully accessible electronic textbook technology."
The president of the ACB said the lawsuit is because of their "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."

I think they just want to get on this train before it leaves the station. We all know - or at least suspect - that the age of electronic textbooks is coming soon, and I don't blame them for wanting to ensure accessibility at the beginning, especially since it probably is easy to do.
I also learned from their website that the NFB has been actively keeping an eye on the Kindle; earlier this year they argued (http://www.nfb.org/nfb/NewsBot.asp?MODE=VIEW&ID=412) against an Author's Guild advising its members to consider negotiating contracts prohibiting e-books to be read aloud by the new Amazon Kindle 2, which incorporates text-to-speech technology.

I'm not blind, (though heck my eyesight isn't getting any better as I age) but I do have sympathy for their position.

Warm regards,
Susanna M. Leers
E-Research & Technology Services Librarian
Barco Law Library
University of Pittsburgh School of Law
3900 Forbes Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
412 648-1329

P Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail.

From: teknoids-bounces@ruckus.law.cornell.edu [mailto:teknoids-bounces@ruckus.law.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of Elmer Masters
Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 2:19 PM
To: Teknoids
Subject: Re: [teknoids] Fwd: [WebAIM] [Fwd: National Federation of the Blind and American Council of the Blind File Discrimination Suit Against Arizona State University]

Not to be insensitive or anything, but shouldn't they also be suing the university to prevent them from deploying print textbooks on exactly the same grounds? There is nothing that requires Amazon to make the Kindle accessible to the vision impaired. I would think that so long as the university made the same materials available to the vision impaired students, there is no real problem. Letting this argument prevail would really put a damper on technological development in education.

Elmer.
Web guy at teknoids.net
On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 7:48 AM, steven perkins <scperkins@gmail.com> wrote:
For those schools looking to get on the Kindle bandwagon see this message.

---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Subject: National Federation of the Blind and American Council of the
Blind File Discrimination Suit Against Arizona State University
From: "Lissner, Scott" <Lissner.2@OSU.EDU>
Date: Fri, June 26, 2009 1:34 pm
To: DSSHE-L@LISTSERV.BUFFALO.EDU
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

National Federation of the Blind and American Council of the Blind File
Discrimination Suit Against Arizona State University
6/25/2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:
Chris Danielsen
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)
cdanielsen@nfb.org
National Federation of the Blind and
American Council of the Blind
File Discrimination Suit Against Arizona State University
University's Amazon Kindle DX Pilot Program
Discriminates Against the Blind
Baltimore, Maryland (June 25, 2009): The National Federation of the
Blind (NFB) and the American Council of the Blind (ACB) filed suit today
against Arizona State University (ASU) to prevent the university from
deploying Amazon's Kindle DX electronic reading device as a means of
distributing electronic textbooks to its students because the device
cannot be used by blind students.

Susanna Leers