NYC Department of Education Scraps $30M Amazon Deal for Digital Storefront

ALMOST THERE: Amazon’s efforts to create an e-book marketplace for New York City’s Department of Education has been put on hold, after concerns that readers with visual impairments will not be able to access the tool. In a letter sent to department chancellor Carmen Fariña, the National Federation of the Blind noted that:

Amazon’s lack of regard for accessibility when creating Kindle e-book content would leave blind students and teachers far behind their sighted peers if NYC DOE chooses to proceed with the proposed contract with Amazon.

An Aug. 26 meeting to approve the deal, which could be worth $30 million over three years, has been postponed. A NYC DOE spokeswoman told NY Daily News that the department will create a new plan for e-books this fall. She added: “We are working closely with Amazon and community partners to ensure that all school communities—including those serving visually impaired students—will be able to take part.”

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