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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

March 28, 2007 at 12:43 PM

Amazon.com partners with Federation of the Blind

The e-commerce giant will work with the National Federation of the Blind “to promote and improve technology that enables blind people to access and use the World Wide Web,” they announced today.

Amazon will “continue improving the accessibility of its Web site platform” and the NFB will contribute expertise in Web accessibility, the release said.

I asked for more specifics and was told one aspect of the partnership involves “screen access software” that enables blind people to independently navigate the Web, access site aurally or through Braille displays and interact with sites using keyboard commands. The software relies on features that can be built into Web sites such as “alt-tags” describing images and keyboard command equivalents to mouse actions.

Amazon will make changes to its site by Dec. 31, but the agreement is in place for six years, said John G. Paré Jr, spokesman for Baltimore-based NFB.

Comments | More in | Topics: Amazon.com, Web

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