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The New Kindle Fire Has New Accessibility Features , Perhaps for Real This Time

Category: Books/Movies/Music
Posted by Alena Roberts Thursday, 26-Sep-2013 4:27 PM ET

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Earlier this week, Amazon announced that they're coming out with a new Kindle Fire. The new version of their 7 inch tablet will not be available until October 18, but you can pre-order it today. According to Amazon's accessibility page, there are a number of new features to make the device accessible for people with disabilities. Some of the highlights include: a built-in screen reader from Ivona Text to Speech for blind users, a screen magnifier with high contrast options for low vision users, closed captioning and stereo to mono for hearing impaired users, and bluetooth keyboard navigation for users that would have trouble using gestures on the screen.

To learn the gestures that correspond with the screen reader, the device will come with a tutorial on how to navigate by touch. There will also be a user guide for all accessibility features.

It's nice to see that Amazon is finally offering increased accessibility on the Kindle Fire. It will be interesting to see how well the screen reader works and if it gives users access to all of the features of the Kindle Fire. Skeptics may say that we've been through this charade before, but with the latest offering based on Android 4.2, this version has a lot of potential if the proper design guidelines were followed. Stay tuned for more information as we get closer to the release date.

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