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Last Friday, we brought you a wonderfully seditious opinion piece written by TeleRead founder David Rothman about the fact that Amazon’s brand-new Kindle Paperwhite models were produced without text to speech (TTS) functionality. It’s an important essay, so click here to give it a read if you haven’t already.

David tells us he’s been in touch with the public relations department of the National Federation for the Blind, who are apparently attempting to get a conversation started with Amazon about this very contentious issue. The NFB’s PR director, Chris Danielsen, published a release last Thursday that has since been nationally distributed. We’ve reproduced that release for you, here:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date:
Thursday, September 6, 2012

Category:
Chris Danielsen
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)

National Federation of the Blind Comments on New Kindles

Baltimore, Maryland (September 6, 2012): The National Federation of the Blind, the nation’s leading advocate for accessible technology and content, commented today on Amazon’s press conference announcing new Kindle e-readers and tablets.

Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “The U.S. Department of State has just withdrawn a single-source contract proposal involving the Kindle family of devices, possibly due to our concerns about the lack of accessibility in virtually all iterations of the Kindle. Despite the State Department action, our repeated encouragement of Amazon to incorporate accessibility, and the fact that companies like Apple and Google are actively engaged in the incorporation of accessibility features into their devices, there is no evidence that these new Kindles are accessible. It seems abundantly clear where Amazon stands. The National Federation of the Blind will continue to fight for access to all manner of devices and content and to oppose the deployment of inaccessible devices and content by entities that are covered by our nation’s disability laws.”

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