Skip to comments.DOJ Targeted Public Library for Lending E-Books 'Inaccessible' to the Blind
Posted on 09/01/2012 6:07:07 AM PDT by IbJensen
CNSNews.com) The U.S. Justice Department says it has reached a settlement with the Sacramento (California) Public Library over a trial program the library was conducting that let patrons borrow Barnes and Noble NOOK e-book readers.
DOJ and the National Federation of the Blind objected to the program on grounds that blind people could not use the NOOK e-readers for technological reasons.
The Justice Department said the settlement is aimed at stopping discrimination: Emerging technologies like e-readers are changing the way we interact with the world around us and we need to ensure that people with disabilities are not excluded from the programs where these devices are used, said Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez in a news release.
A DOJ official told CNSNews.com it interviewed a woman who could not participate in the library's e-reader program due to her disability and concluded that the program had violated the ADA.
Amy Calhoun, an Electronic Resources Librarian at the Sacramento Public Library who helped launch the ebook reader project, said she was unaware of any objections from a blind person regarding the program. I have not heard of a specific complaint directly from a patron, she told CNSNews.com. But I do know that patrons who are part of the statewide Braille and talking-book program do get in touch with us for audio books.
The Sacramento Public Library Authority, which operates 28 libraries, partnered with the book store chain to provide at least one NOOK e-book reader to each of its libraries, pre-loaded with roughly 20 books in all genres.
The library describes the program as a pilot project, and it requires patrons to fill out a feedback survey as the program works through its initial stages.
But the Justice Department says a state or local government program that excludes people with disabilities violates the ADA, regardless of whether it is a pilot program. As part of the settlement agreement, the Justice Department directed the library system to purchase at least 18 e-readers that are accessible to the blind, something that comes in the midst of budget cuts that have forced Sacramento libraries to implement one employee furlough day each month for two years. The library says it will add iPod touch and iPad devices, which read e-books aloud with a computerized voice.
Adding the Apple devices could cost the library anywhere from $3,582 with the purchase of 18 of the most inexpensive iPod Touch models, to $14,922 if they wish to provide the high-end version of the iPad, which cost $829 a piece.
According to an article posted on NFB's website, while e-books "are an especially exciting development" for blind readers, Nook's "bookstore, desktop software, mobile software, and dedicated hardware reading devices are all inaccessible to blind users."
The settlement agreement also directs the library not to buy any additional e-readers that exclude blind or disabled people; and it requires the library system to train its staff on the requirements of the ADA, the DOJ said.
We are pleased that the Sacramento Public Library Authority worked so cooperatively to adopt measures that will allow patrons with disabilities to avail themselves equally of the librarys programs and services, said U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California, Benjamin B. Wagner
GUESS THE DOJ WILL BE SENDING ANOTHER LOAD OF FAST AND FURIOUS WEAPONS TO MEXICO, BUT WITH BRAILLE MARKINGS, SO BLIND CRIMINALS CAN USE THEM TOO.
You just can’t make this stuff up. What’s next? A lawsuit against a hair salon because they won’t hire a blind person?
Madness. That’s all, just complete insanity.
California is going to find a way to issue driver’s licenses to blind people . . .
They will save substantially by eliminating the pilot program altogether. Surely the AFB will be delighted, “If our members cannot use the program no one should be allowed to.”
The AFB is targeting the Airline Pilots Association for refusing to accredit blind pilots. “Certainly in an age when audio devices proliferate, flying jumbo jets can be made accessible to the blind,” claims a visually challenged spokesperson for the AFB.
The National Association of the Deaf is incensed that their members are excluded from these audio systems. “If our members cannot use the program no one should be allowed to,” an auditorally challenged spokesperson for the NAD claimed.
Meanwhile 50 million babies have been slaughtered in the womb without any protection of their right to life.
We have become utterly insane.
This is insanity. It is a sign of the times, and also the blame of the sanctimonious legislators who base the vague legislation which underlies this.
Why don’t they just burn all books and pictures because they are not accessible to the blind?
If I live a few more decades, I will probably lose my sight, according to my ophthalmologist. I will will remember to be loud in my complaints about people who try to claim that a handicap is not really a misfortune, and can be undone by proper rules. NO! Sometimes things just go bad, and injuring people with luck does not help the unfortunate.
A pox on this liberal nonsense!
Holder needs a nice cell in a federal pen somewhere, where he can attempt to obtain ‘justice’, when his cellmate slips his weapon into Eric’s border.
Well GM does not make automobiles that blind people can drive. Is that a violation of the ADA and will DOJ go after them?
Wait a minute.
The blind folks can not read the print books either.
The Nook is just a printed page on a screen instead of paper.
So how come lending books is ok?
I doubt there's specific legislation about braille on drive-thru machines. Most likely, it's just easier to put braille on all ATMs, rather than having different versions for drive-thru vs non-drive-thru.
Then again, the drive-thru COULD be used by a blind passenger in the back seat.
Why do I suspect that there's an Obama supporter who's an Apple salesman?
The DOJ will sue the American People for refusing to re-elect a President without a conscience or a brain.
Car manufactures should stop making cars because everyone knows blind people can’t drive!
Does that make as much sense?
Either that, or have Braille on all the road signs.
Does the DOJ understand what a “trial” program is? Did they need a more nuanced word? We pilot (trial) programs all the time in my line of work. Normally a targeted group (in this case it looks like a branch) uses the program and is required to give feedback/suggestions. I am sure the library could have looked at the issue and found better solutions to help these people during the trial period.
You can take the trial lawyer out of private practice, but you can’t take the trial lawyer out of the person.
Is this real? I mean a blind person can’t read a bound book, can they?
And I know the kindle as some kind of “voice” feature, I don’t know if it’s any good, I don’t know if the nook has this, but I reckon blind people will likely get more reading done with e-readers than with old fashioned books.
Seriously, Mitt Romney needs to go to DC and do something he enjoys: FIRE PEOPLE!
Everything about this evil regime is rotten to the core!
There have to be MILLIONS of actual printed BOOKS in American Libraries.
NO BLIND person can ‘read’ them.
IS the DOJ of Holder & Obama going to demand that all the libraries in the country—including every college & university only have books that are for the blind?
Are they going to go after all the book stores in the country, also??
This administration just confounds me.
Whenever I think they cannot do anything furthere that is beyond stupid, they come up with another scenario.