3 Colleges Strike Deal With U.S. Not to Promote Kindle

January 14, 2010

In a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department, three universities agreed not to buy or promote the use of Amazon's Kindle DX or other electronic readers until the devices are fully accessible to the blind. Case Western Reserve University, Pace University and Reed College, all of which were part of a splashy entree into higher education for the Kindle last spring, struck the deals after an investigation prompted by a lawsuit by the National Federation for the Blind and the American Council for the Blind against Arizona State University, another institution that planned an e-reader experiment (that lawsuit was settled last week). Under the agreements with the Justice Department, which take effect when the colleges' current Kindle pilot projects end, "the universities agree that if they use dedicated electronic book readers, they will ensure that students with vision disabilities are able to access and acquire the same materials and information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services as sighted students with substantially equivalent ease of use."

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