Amazon Releases Accessibility Enhancements to Kindle App

Amazon Kindle app logoGreetings again from my Monday and Wednesday night “office” — Stone Creek Coffee. It’s been helpful in my new quest to blog weekly to have some dedicated time, away from the house and house distractions.

This isn’t hot off the presses, but I’ve been meaning to talk about it. Amazon announced earlier in the month that its iOS Kindle app has been updated with key accessibility features.

You can read more details here, among other places:
Amazon Bringing New Accessibility Features to Free Kindle Reading Apps

Not unlike my Apple love, I’ve always been a fan of Amazon since their early days, and one of my favorite purchases of the last year was my Kindle Touch. Despite having the unintended consequence of making me not enjoy physical books anymore, it’s gotten me back into reading.

Anyway, some of the high points of its enhancements:

  • Leveraging Apple’s VoiceOver so that users can hear a vast number of titles read aloud
  • Using the accessibility features (such as Zoom and Assistive Touch) within iOS
  • Enhancing the ability for blind users to access a bunch of Kindle features like navigating, searching, taking notes, and using reference materials

The app itself is free, though of course most books have to be purchased.

It certainly sounds like steps in a good direction. The more avenues that open up for blind readers to enjoy literature, beyond the much more limited options of Braille for example, the better.

I’ll be interested to hear how disabled users, particularly those with visual constraints, find these features in action. Is it a good start? Could they be doing more? Feel free to weigh in!

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