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Justice Department settlement puts on-campus Kindle use on hold

Justice Department settlement puts on-campus Kindle use on hold
Donald Melanson
Donald Melanson|@donmelanson|January 13, 2010 8:51 PM
Amazon may have recently announced it was beefing up the Kindle's functionality for vision-impaired users, but it looks like that's too little too late for three universities using Kindles as an alternative to textbooks, who have now agreed to shelve the e-readers until such enhancements are in place as part of a settlement with the Justice Department. Those universities include Pace, Case Western, and Reed College, who were all sued by two organizations representing the blind, which alleged that while the Kindle has a text-to-speech function, the menus do not, thereby making them impossible for blind students to use -- another university testing the Kindle, Arizona State, has already reached a similar settlement. Assuming Amazon lives up to its promises, however, it looks like the Kindles could be put back to use as soon as this summer -- and the universities in question will still be able to finish any pilot programs currently taking place this semester, just not expand their use.
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