This was one of the slogans chanted during Tuesday’s protest organized by the Reading Rights Coalition. The demonstration, held outside of the NYC office of The Author’s Guild, seemed to be well attended both in person and virtually.
Thanks to Mika Pyykhala and John Oliveira of the Association of Blind Citizens for streaming the event.
The program consisted of representatives from the various RRC participating organizations. Each showing their support for the right to equal access to books.
Those of us who were listening to the stream were asked to call the Author’s Guild @ (212) 563-5904 to urge them to reverse their position. When I called, I was told that the guild would release a statement later today. The receptionist took my email and said I would be included on the distribution.
So Close but yet So Far!
Today’s protest was a great example of the power that comes with technology. Two individuals using a net book, microphone, broadband card and software were able to independently stream the event and provide those of us unable to attend with the instant information we were seeking.
The Kindle, once made navigable, has the TTS built in that will potentially provide access to over 250,000 books. Technology can provide access.
Ironically, it appears that the technology hurdle is about to be cleared, and now The Author’s Guild creates an artificial barrier in the form of content restrictions.
Access to information has increased within the five years I have been aware of the issue. However, it has mainly come via specialty products not generally available or applicable to the mainstream. The Victor Reader Stream, while a great product is unknown and unavailable in general electronic stores or web sites. This small market segment tends to be the main reason given by Access Technology product manufacturer’s for their comparatively expensive price tag.
A fully accessible Kindle with built in TTS available for any book purchased at the one price, well, that is a game changer.
We are so close!
While the number of signatures on the petition are increasing, I think we should be over ten thousand already. The two blind consumer organizations combined is an estimated 75 thousand individuals, each with at least one family member or friend, acquaintance, neighbor…
If you are reading this blog chances are you support this issue – c’mon peeps, sign the petition and play a part in change.
Holla back via the comments after signing the petition.