29 November 2010

Amazon Kindle, Dyslexia and disabled Text to Speech

I feel let down. For once we have a device that opens the world of literature to people with disabilities and again greed has taken preference.

It is not often I get the chance to have a incredibly complex science novel book read to me over audio book as they are not often published on this format. But here comes the Amazon Kindle and the advances in "Text to Speech" technology that is integrated into a fantastic little package that opens the world of books to people like myself with a disability like Dyslexia.

Dyslexia is easy to hide as it is not a physical disability but it is debilitating when you are unable to read a whole novel or feel inadequate when you are unable to quickly read a short paragraph that someone has asked you to read. Dyslexic people have been known to be incredibly clever and the list of famous philosophers, scientists, engineers and musicians that have dyslexia is extensive.

Dyslexia takes its forum (like blindness or hearing impaired) on different levels from simple reading and spelling problems to severer reading and the inability to spell or comprehend written language.

The Kindle has the possibility to open the gap for people who want to read but find it difficult to do so because of their disability. I use the kindle nightly to read as I read with text to speech on to follow the words as it is spoken to me and has opened the world of books to me.


Many publishers have decided that it is a copyright infringement to have the kindle read out loud. Well I am disabled I cannot read or comprehend written language by myself to a level that it takes to be comfortable.

It is not right that they have done this as they have taken the equivalent of the "access ramp" away from dyslexic people by taking away the text to speech function on the Kindle.

If you do appreciate what I am saying then please support me as I would like to raise a petition to amazon and the publishes with the names of 1000 peoples to raise the awareness of dyslexia or similar disability that technology (like the kindle) is our "access ramp" to the written world.

Please follow this link to http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/dyslexiaandkindle/ and when it is ready I will send it to amazon and the publishers that have taken this route of disabling text to speech.

I will update this post to let you know of the outcome.