Blind Justice

Published September 26, 2012

The Sacramento Public Library partnered with Barnes and Noble in a pilot program to put at least one Nook e-reader in each of its public libraries. After the National Federation of the Blind complained, the U.S. Department of Justice charged the library system with discriminating against the blind because the devices don’t make audio available.

“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 announcing a settlement.

The library system agreed to buy at least 18 Apple e-readers, costing between $3,582 and $14,922, even though it is furloughing employees due to budget cuts. The system also agreed not to buy any Nooks.

Source: Elizabeth Harrington, ” DOJ Targeted Public Library for Lending E-Books ‘Inaccessible’ to the Blind,” CNS News, August 31, 2012