RNIB hails Kindle app 'breakthrough'

RNIB hails Kindle app 'breakthrough'

A new Kindle app from Amazon will help blind and partially sighted people to access 1.5m titles.

The app works with the in-built magnification and speech functions of iPhones, iPads and some other Apple devices, while also creating an electronic Braille display.

Amazon consulted with blind and partially sighted people in the UK to help develop the app, which has previously been impossible due to compatibility issues with Apple's own accessibility features.

Fazilet Hadi, the director of inclusivity at the RNIB, said: "This fantastic breakthrough from Amazon means that people with sight loss can now read the 1.5m titles in the Kindle store. RNIB helped Amazon by getting feedback from blind and partially sighted people who tested early versions of the app.

"It is important that this level of accessibility is now replicated across all of the apps and devices in the Amazon Kindle range. We urge Amazon and all other developers and manufacturers in the e-book industry, to continue their work in making e-books, devices and apps usable by everybody."

Richard Mollet, chief executive of the Publishers Association, said all publishing businesses had to work towards accessibility.

He said: "Achieving progress on accessibility for blind and partially sighted people is always going to require action from every party in the chain. Publishers are working hard to make their files accessible at the production level, and we are pleased to see retailers and device manufacturers taking important steps too. We will continue to work with charities for blind and partially sighted people to ensure that e-books deliver on their promise of accessibility."