In an earlier post, I mentioned the importance of web accessibility
guidelines at universities. Arizona State University recently discovered that it is important to pay attention to accessibility laws when choosing an e-reader to display their digital resources.
ASU decided to use the Amazon Kindle to distribute digital resources to students
. ASU was quickly sued by the The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) and the American Council of the Blind (ACB) because the Kindle has very limited text-to speech functionality. While some individuals posting comments may argue that the same resources are available in print (and therefore braille) form, the crux of the lawsuit stems from the inherent disadvantage students faces if they are not given access to the latest technology and resources. It is unrealistic to assume, as a university moves to digital publishing, that a physical copy of every resource will be produced to compensate for devices with poor accessibility. The issues of equal access and level competitive fields are important to keep in mind as universities begin selecting ebook readers and other digital devices.