NYC DOE Cancels Meeting on Amazon Deal
NYC DOE Cancels Meeting on Amazon Deal [Michael Deer, Flickr]
The New York City Department of Education was toying with a $30 million contract with the electronic commerce giant Amazon. A meeting to vote on the deal was cancelled today, amid criticism from disability rights advocates.
The deal would make Amazon the primary provider of electronic textbooks and related educational materials for public school students in New York City. But critics say Amazon's e-books are not fully accessible to the blind.
Christopher Danielsen with the National Federation of the Blind said that e-books are not inherently inaccessible as long as they're complemented with technologies like electronic brail displays.
"What we don't want is for the New York City school system to work with a provider that is not committed to giving blind student those capabilities," Danielsen said.
An Amazon spokesperson said the company is looking forward to working with the city's Department of Education to find a solution that serves all students.