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College Classroom E-Readers Must Be Accessible to the Blind

College classrooms that use electronic book readers may be in conflict of civil rights law if they require the use of devices that aren't accessible to students who are blind or who have low vision, according the U.S. Department of Education.

The department released a "Dear Colleague" letter yesterday to college and university presidents, reminding them that some e-readers don't have an accessible text-to-speech function for navigation. Though many readers have an electronic voice that can read text, users have to be able to read text to navigate through the device's menus. The announcement came the day before the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The Chronicle of Higher Education's "Wired Campus" blog has more, as does the White House's blog.

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