Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Today - Reading Rights Coalition protest in New York City

Via the Justice for All blog

Reading Rights Coalition Staging Protest in NYC Over Threatened Removal of Text-to-Speech Feature

WHAT: The Reading Rights Coalition, representing millions of disabled people who cannot read print, will protest the threatened removal of the text-to-speech function from e-books for the Amazon Kindle 2 which promised for the first time easy, mainstream access to over 255,000 books. Hundreds of disabled Americans (the blind and people with dyslexia, learning difficulties, spinal cord injuries, seniors losing vision, stroke survivors) will march to demand that the Authors Guild reverse its decision.

WHEN: April 7, 2009 - noon to 2:00 p.m. EDT

WHERE: Outside the Authors Guild headquarters in New York City at 31 East 32nd Street

AVAILABLE TO INTERVIEW: Coalition spokesperson: Dr. Marc Maurer, President, National Federation of the Blind Various coalition member representatives

DISABLING THE DISABLED: When Amazon released the Kindle 2 electronic book reader on February 9, 2009, it promised the device would be able to read e-books aloud using text-to-speech technology. Under pressure from the Authors Guild, Amazon has agreed to 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. This decision has serious discriminatory and censorship implications for the disabled and is simply bad business.

READING RIGHTS COALITION: Coalition members include: American Association of People with Disabilities, Association of Blind Citizens, American Council of the Blind, American Foundation for the Blind, Association on Higher Education And Disability, Arc of the United States, Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, Burton Blatt Institute, Digital Accessible Information System (DAISY) Consortium, Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF), IDEAL Group, Inc., International Center for Disability Resources on the Internet, International Dyslexia Association, International Dyslexia Association--New York Branch, Jewish Guild for the Blind, Knowledge Ecology International, Learning Disabilities Association of America, Lighthouse International, National Center for Learning Disabilities, National Disability Rights Network, National Federation of the Blind, NISH, National Spinal Cord Injury Association, United Cerebral Palsy, and Xavier Society for the Blind.