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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/13471/the-feds-save-us-from-kindle/

The feds save us from Kindle

August 4, 2010 by

From Overlawyered:

When several universities put out word that they were considering lightening the textbook load on their student body by moving to e-book formats, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division put them under investigation for possible violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The targets soon buckled: “The schools denied violating the ADA but agreed that until the Kindle was fully accessible, nobody would use it.”

So the great textbook racket, the amazing monopolistic scam that loots billions from parents in the name of education, will continue as long as possible. Here is the original story.

And don’t you just love how the rights of the disabled are cited here? When I think about how much the government cares about disabled people, I think of the TSA’s grueling airport screening system, which seems to require extreme speed and three hands. Every time I go through it, I think about how people with even minor disabilities can manage this.


Abhilash Nambiar August 4, 2010 at 8:25 am

That was truly insane.

Shay August 4, 2010 at 9:33 am

“The schools denied violating the ADA but agreed that until the Kindle was fully accessible, nobody would use it.”

It was tragic, all right, but George and Hazel couldn’t think about it very hard. Hazel had a perfectly average intelligence, which meant she couldn’t think about anything except in short bursts. And George, while his intelligence was way above normal, had a little mental handicap radio in his ear. He was required by law to wear it at all times. It was tuned to a government transmitter. Every twenty seconds or so, the transmitter would send out some sharp noise to keep people like George from taking unfair advantage of their brains.

(from Vonnegut’s Harrison Bergeron)

mpolzkill August 4, 2010 at 9:47 am

Awesome reference, Shay. I swear that corporate radio and their blaring of it in every space they own (that’s about every space outside of some homes and countryside) is another Vonnegut prophesy come true.

Oh, and we must apologize to Russ for referring to the idiot Vonnegut. All socialists, like Albert Einstein for instance, are complete idiots with nothing valuable to say on politics or society.

bob August 4, 2010 at 9:42 am

Collectivism – if 51 people want A and 49 people want B, everybody gets A

…and if anyone complains they are told they are anti-social and should STFU.

Andrew August 4, 2010 at 10:50 am

As absurd as this story is, the one thing I don’t understand is, are traditional textbooks ADA accessible? Couldn’t the below comment be said about all textbooks:

“If you could get a sighted person to fire up the device and start reading the book to you, that’s fine,” says Chris Danielsen, a spokesman for the federation. “But other than that, there was really no way to use it.”

I’m so glad the Justice department cracked down on this. I loved lugging three heavy, bulky textbooks across the giant Ohio State campus everyday.

Greg August 4, 2010 at 10:58 am

Isn’t it more difficult for a disabled person to carry a bag full of heavy books than to carry a Kindle? Shouldn’t the Justice Dept (just as wrongly) be arguing that every college should be forced to adopt an e-book format?

Lee August 4, 2010 at 11:31 am

The irony is that Textbooks are no more friendly to the “disabled” than the Kindle is. Not to mention that the Kindle has the additional feature of the text-to-speach “Read-to-Me” feature that enhances functionality for the disabled, but oh wait, publishers are blocking that feature on grounds of “copyright infringement” to their audio-books…

Oztrian August 4, 2010 at 1:30 pm

The oligarchy is now blatant.

Bill Miller August 4, 2010 at 4:47 pm

So, so painfully stupid. Your tax dollars at work. I’m surprised they didn’t cite the fact that the kindle might destroy printing jobs or some Keynesian tripe like that as well.

Kathryn August 4, 2010 at 8:44 pm

Right on with the point on TSA treatment. I remember watching an elderly couple try to take off their shoes without a chair in an airport security line. The poor woman nearly fell over from the weight of her husband leaning on her since he clearly didn’t have the balance of a younger man.

Jim August 4, 2010 at 8:48 pm

Did I really just read that the internet could be declared a “public accomodation”?

Jason Koller August 4, 2010 at 11:33 pm

Kindles are cool and all, but until I can write in the margins, I’m sticking to traditional lexicons.

Jason Koller August 4, 2010 at 11:39 pm

Also: how is a kindle not disability friendly?
I’d think a kindle is easier on someone going up a ramp in a wheelchair.
And the adjustable font should help those that need help seeing.

Wheelchair Bling August 14, 2010 at 7:27 pm

Yes, a Kindle would be much lighter to carry around, and easier to use…and I bet cheaper, too, than buying all the textbooks in hard copy. As the author said, it’s just protectionism for the textbook publishers.

Cheap Accomodation Boy September 21, 2010 at 7:42 am

This is good topic and the reactions and comment is great. Got ideas and information from this blog. Thank you.

Paul T November 2, 2010 at 7:24 pm

I think it is all about offering options. The world is moving to a digital format… gheeez, when I attended college no one brought a laptop to class. So, it makes sense that Kindle Textbooks or any other type of e-reader textbooks should be made available to students.

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