When Kindle came out with Amazon touting its accessibility features–text-to-speech for books and magazines, which was swiftly turned off by publishers fearful of losing Audiobook revenue–there was a huge backlash from the visually impaired community. According to an article from Forbes.com, “Amazon failed to fully consider what would be required for a blind person to successfully navigate the Kindle’s menus without assistance.” Basically, Amazon set it up so a blind user would need to the help of a sighted user to choose and open a book. Ugh.
It looks like Apple won’t make the same mistake. iPad comes with VoiceOver, the company’s standard accessibility feature, which is also packed into Macs. It reads text aloud and also speaks a description of menu choices and other onscreen items.
This is not a way for sneaky and cheap audiobook addicts to avoid paying for their audiobooks; it’s an important way into reading for the visually impaired. Remember that, publishers.
To check out another amazing reading device for the visually impaired, click over to our video review of the Intel Reader.