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Amazon expands VoiceView accessibility tool for visually impaired users to the Kindle Paperwhite

TechCrunch TechCrunch 10/05/2016 Brian Heater

After rolling out to its Fire tablets, Amazon is ready to bring VoiceView functionality to its line of devoted e-readers. The accessibility feature, targeted at visually impaired users, will be hitting the Paperwhite first, shipping as a bundle with the reader.

“Like VoiceView on our Fire tablets, VoiceView for Kindle supports linear and touch navigation, and the same broad range of speech feedback rates and earcons,” the company’s Accessibility Architect Peter Korn wrote in a blog post on the subject. “Likewise, we developed a tutorial with multiple lessons that users can return to at any time.”

Along with the six-inch reader, the $140 package includes a Kindle Audio Adapter, a dongle that plugs directly into the Paperwhite’s charging jack, enabling speech-to-text functionality, so visually impaired users can listen along to the book by connecting a pair of headphones (not included). Amazon’s also throwing in a $20 Amazon account credit to off-set the price. 

The adapter, which, not coincidentally, retails for $20, should get around six hours of battery life on a charge.  In addition to the VoiceView, Amazon is also making its OpenDyslexic font available on the latest line of Kindle readers along with the Kindle iOS app.

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