Why do companies that make products and provide services I enjoy have to be such complete and total discriminatory arseholes?
Check out these utterly absurd reasons why Sony and Amazon don’t think they should have to comply with the Twenty-first Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, which mandates that electronic devices be made accessible to people with disabilities.
According to the petition, this is the definition of an Ebook reader: “E-readers, sometimes called e-book readers, are mobile electronic devices that are designed, marketed and used primarily for the purpose of reading digital documents, including e-books and periodicals.” Since Ebook readers are primarily designed for print reading, the companies are arguing that the disabled community would not significantly benefit from these devices becoming accessible. They also argue that because the devices are so simple, making the changes to the devices to make them accessible, would cause them to be heavier, have poorer battery life, and raise the cost of the devices. Finally, these companies argue that since their apps are accessible on other devices such as the iPad and other full featured tablets, that they are already providing access to their content.
You know, maybe they have a point. Other than in school at every level from JK to university, on the job, conducting business, sending emails, reviewing and paying bills, reading the news or reading books for pleasure, I can’t think of a single time when a blind or learning disabled person has ever benefited from the accessible digitization of a printed document. Hardly seems worth the effort, really.
And of course those devices would be waaaaaaay more bulky if you had to put voices in them. You’re not going to stuff the men and women who would have to read all the books into something as small as what they’re currently making. And cramming people into a book reader just seems mean, doesn’t it? We’re not like those meanies at Apple. Have you ever picked up an iPhone? It’s like a sack of fucking bricks, that thing! Not sure how anybody carries those sumbitches around.
And battery life? Don’t even get me started! Why would anyone even think of ruining the blissful utopia in which we currently live? a wondrous land it is, a place where nobody ever feels compelled to complain about the battery life of his smartphones 38 times a day.
Everything I wrote in those last 3 paragraphs is completely ridiculous and stupid, of course. But Sony and Amazon started it. Seriously, guys. It’s 2013. The amount of technology and know how that exists now is unbelievable. We’re well past the point where accessibility should be considered either cumbersome or cost prohibitive, or where those with a print disability should be thought of as burdensome. Get yourselves a clue, and perhaps a sense of humanity and equality while you’re at it.