The Kindle 2 has enough features, for some

The Reading Rights Coalition protests in front of the Authors Guild, 31 East 32nd Street NYC.

With the launch of the Amazon Kindle 2 and its text-to-speech feature, a broader range of reading materials would now be available to the 15 million Americans represented by The Reading Rights Coalition, a group which defends the rights of those who cannot read printed words because of blindness, dyslexia, spinal cord injury, or other disabilities. However, The Authors Guild is looking add a hoop or two for people with print disabilities to jump through .

As previously written by my colleague Greg Sandoval, "the retailer, which makes the popular Kindle electronic-book reader, announced late Friday that the company is modifying systems to allow authors and publishers to decide whether to enable Kindle's text-to-speech function on a per-title basis."

According to The Reading Rights Coalition: "The Guild has told them that in order to read their books with text-to-speech they must either submit to a burdensome special registration system and prove their disabilities--or pay extra. The Guild's position is contrary to the principle of equal opportunity for all and discriminates against millions of people with print disabilities. The Guild's position is outrageous and discriminates against the millions of people with print disabilities who are eager to be their readers and customers."

A protest took place today in front of the Authors Guild building on 32nd Street in New York. Busloads of protesters with picket signs rallied for the right not to pay extra or to be denied the right to enjoy a book on the Kindle 2.

The lineup consisted of speakers that included leaders in the disability rights community. Dr. Fred Schroeder, former commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration and first vice president of the National Federation of the Blind was there.

The demonstration was calm and no police intervention was required; however, New York's finest were present. For those who may have wanted to participate in the protest, it will continue on the West coast at the L.A. Times Festival of Books on Saturday, April 25, and Sunday, April 26, at a time to be determined. It will take place at UCLA.

If you would like to sign the petition, you can do so on this Web site.

The Reading Rights Coalition is comprised of the following members:

1. AbilityNet

2. American Association of People with Disabilities

3. American Council of the Blind

4. American Foundation for the Blind

5. Arc of the United States

6. Association of Blind Citizens

7. Association on Higher Education And Disability

8. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law

9. Burton Blatt Institute

10.DAISY Consortium

11. Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund

12. IDEAL Group, Inc.

13. 13.International Center for Disability Resources on the Internet

14. .International Dyslexia Association

15. International Dyslexia Association - New York Branch

16. Jewish Guild for the Blind

17. Knowledge Ecology International

18. Learning Disabilities Association of America

19. Lighthouse International

20. National Association of Law Students with Disabilities

21. National Center for Learning Disabilities

22. National Disability Rights Network

23. National Federation of the Blind

24. NISH (formerly National Institute for the Severely Handicapped)

25. National Spinal Cord Injury Association

26. Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities

27. United Cerebral Palsy

28. Xavier Society for the Blind

About the author

    When not juggling the dual demands of parenthood and playing basketball, Joseph is a life-long Manhattanite who can be found testing the latest tech in the CNET Labs and developing new benchmarks and testing methodologies.

     

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