Dozens of visually impaired people with white canes and guide dogs protested outside Amazon.com’s headquarters in Seattle today. They say Amazon’s Kindle e-readers aren’t fully accessible to the blind.
Protesters chanted, "Kindles aren’t cool, keep them out of school," as they marched in the cold rain. They say they’re concerned about Amazon’s push to get Kindles and Kindle e-books in classrooms.
The National Federation of the Blind has long said that Kindles lack features that blind people need – such as the ability to use a braille device with the e-reader. The visually impaired former New York Governor David Paterson joined the protest.
"We’re bringing the disparity right into public and private education," Paterson said. "That is just plain wrong."
Amazon has been adding features to its Kindles to make them easier for blind people to use. But the organization says Amazon products still lag Apple devices.
This story was updated on Dec. 15, 2012, to reflect the preferred terms "white canes" and "guide dogs" instead of "walking sticks" and "seeing-eye dogs."