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Guest blog - About the Amazon Kindle text-to-speech function

Posted Apr 07 2009 11:10pm

Thanks so much to Penny Reeder for sending me this

Penny Reeder
Content Specialist
Gettinghired, LLC

More on Text-to-Speech and the Kindle 2:
Demonstration in Front of the Authors' Guild April 7;
Online Petition, Sign It Now!
We were delighted to learn that, responding to an online petition asking
for accessible controls on the Kindle 2, has promised to make the reading device's
controls speak aloud.  That is great news for people who cannot see the controls;
now people who are blind and visually impaired will be able to access-books on the
Kindle 2, just like people who can see!  Or, that should be the result of's
Sadly, the author's Guild, ostensibly fearing that the text-to-speech capability
on the Kindle 2 might decrease sales of audio books, has insisted that
give publishers the right to disable the text-to-speech capability for each title
which will be made available for Kindle 2 e-book readers.
Turning off the Kindle 2's text-to-speech capability is akin to denying an important
civil right to a whole segment of the population.  We urge you to read the announcement
below, to participate in the live demonstration on April 7 if you live nearby and
have the time, and to sign the online petition which is available at this link:
The Announcement:  Allow Everyone Access to E-books
Target:  The Authors Guild
Sponsored by:  The Reading Rights Coalition
When Amazon released the Kindle 2 electronic book reader on February 9, 2009, the
company announced that the device would read e-books aloud using text-to-speech technology.
Under pressure from the Authors Guild, Amazon has announced that it will give authors
and publishers the ability to disable the text-to-speech function on any or all of
their e-books available for the Kindle 2.
The Reading Rights Coalition, which represents people who cannot read print, will
protest the threatened removal of the text-to-speech function from e-books for the
Amazon Kindle 2.
Where:  Outside the Authors Guild headquarters in New York City at 31 East 32nd Street
When:  On April 7, 2009, from noon to 2:00 p.m.
The coalition includes the organizations that represent people who are blind, people
with dyslexia, people with learning or processing issues, seniors losing vision,
people with spinal cord injuries, people recovering from strokes, and many others
for whom the addition of text-to-speech on the Kindle 2 promised for the first time easy, mainstream access to over 245,000 books.  Read More Here:

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