Saturday, September 01, 2012

Great Moments in Government Overreach: DOJ Accuses Sacramento Library of Discrimination

The Sacramento Public Library Authority partnered with Barnes and Noble on a trial basis to provide a NOOK e-book reader at each of its 28 libraries, pre-loaded with 20 books in a variety of genres.  Sure seems like a sensible,  innovative, market-based, consumer-friendly option now that so many people do their reading using Kindles, NOOKs, and iPads instead of print copies.  

So what's the problem? According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), the pilot e-reader program violates the Americans with Disabilities Act because it discriminates against blind patrons of the library, because NOOK e-readers are "inaccessible" to the blind.  The library reached a settlement that requires it to purchase iPod touch and iPad devices, which read e-books aloud with a computerized voice.  DOJ has also directed the library not to buy any additional e-readers that exclude blind and it requires the library to train its staff on ADA compliance.

Read the whole story here (CNS News) or here (Sacramento Bee).  Here's the full text of the settlement and the DOJ press release.

Question: Isn't the Sacramento Public Library's entire collection of books, magazines, and newspapers in hard copy also"inaccessible" to its blind patrons?  

Update: Census data on Sacramento indicate that a language other than English is spoken in almost 37% of the city's homes, so couldn't you make a case that the books in English at the city's libraries be "inaccessible" to many of the local residents?  If so, then shouldn't the libraries be required to have each book available in several languages?  

Update: The DOJ's enforcement of equal treatment and non-discriminatory practices seems to be somewhat selective. In the case above, it was considered illegal to give sighted people special treatment, preferences or access to resources at public libraries that were not available to blind people, and the legal standard applied was "equal treatment under the law for all at a publicly funded library."  But the DOJ doesn't seem equally concerned about special preferences at publicly-funded universities, where it allows a different legal standard of "unequal treatment" and "special preferences" based on race?       

HT: Curtis Purington


53 Comments:

At 9/02/2012 5:23 AM, OpenID moneyjihad said...

Maybe, but with the printed word there isn't a reasonable accommodation/substitute product for readers who are completely blind.

With e-readers there is, since kindles & the i-products can read books aloud.

 
At 9/02/2012 6:11 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

CNS is a credible source of news?

this has all he earmarks of a right-wing false narrative that some folks will just suck up without checking the facts.

the one reference they do provide is to a lady who a a member of the technology access team at the International Braille and Technology Center for the Blind.

Note this is an INTERNATIONAL organization and the article says nothing about San Diego or anything germane at all with respect to eh CNS "news" article.

we see more and more of this where someone with an agenda writes something purporting to be credible and factual and it turns out to be little more than a "planted" story to rile up the folks who have a similar bias.

and yet these stores get promoted by other blogs as if they have merit.

moneyjihad points out the obvious with e-readers - they can "read" aloud which is way better than other options for the blind.

CNS is about as credible as a long-hair idiot on a soapboax in my view - not only on this but on a wide variety of things it purports to be "news".

this tells you all you need to know about CNS:

" MRC Chairman L. Brent Bozell III founded CNSNews.com"

" on December 22, 2011, he appeared on Fox News and stated U.S. President Barack Obama looks like a "skinny ghetto crackhead"

anyone who has spent any time listening to this guy knows exactly who he is appealing to...and anything he provides as "news" is likely not.

 
At 9/02/2012 6:51 AM, Blogger Bruce Oksol - oksol@yahoo.com said...

http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2012/August/12-crt-1059.html

If you don't like CNS, perhaps the DOJ website itself.

 
At 9/02/2012 7:14 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

I stand corrected though I still do not understand because most ereaders will "read" the book and that would seem to be a clear advantage and benefit to those with disabilities.

 
At 9/02/2012 7:34 AM, Blogger Eric said...

Larry G,
the issue was with the library providing certain Nook e-readers which don't have text-to-speech functionality.

Your knee jerk reactions don't reflect well on you.

 
At 9/02/2012 7:35 AM, Blogger Aiken_Bob said...

Larry
hope you feel better now that you have explain the obvious to all of us poor dumb peasants.

 
At 9/02/2012 7:45 AM, Blogger Pulverized Concepts said...

The ADA is one of the most egregious affronts to freedom evah. And a great example of bureaucrats run amok. Required wheel chair ramps for instance. The nanny state could have just as well made it mandatory that wheel chair manufacturers make wheel chairs that could climb stairs. We have the technology. Instead, private property owners are required to foot the bill for "improvements" that may never be used.

 
At 9/02/2012 7:48 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: " the issue was with the library providing certain Nook e-readers which don't have text-to-speech functionality."

really? I thought they all did that?

think about this - virtually every library in the country contemplating do additional things for their patrons - providing e-readers - have this issue.

I thought they all had text-to-speech built it but obviously I am wrong.

and admit it.

 
At 9/02/2012 8:02 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Great Moments In Government Overreach: DOJ"

is splattered across the right wing blogosphere - word for word...

Here's a more balanced and explanatory report:

" National Federation of the Blind Settles Complaint Against Sacramento Public Library

The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the nation's leading advocate for access to information by the blind and other people with print disabilities, announced today that a complaint filed by the NFB with the United States Department of Justice, Office of Civil Rights, against the Sacramento Public Library Authority has been resolved. The NFB filed the complaint last fall because the library was lending NOOK e-readers preloaded with e-books to its patrons. Unlike some other e-reading devices, the NOOK, which is manufactured and sold by Barnes & Noble, cannot be used by blind and print-disabled readers because it does not have text-to-speech capability or the ability to send content to a Braille display.

The goal of the agreement is "to provide a library e-reader circulation program where library patrons, with and without vision disabilities, are able to access and use the same technology to the maximum extent possible."

characterizing this as "over-reach" of the govt when you have one govt agency going after another just shows the real agenda of the folks who chose to not fully explain the issue AND uses the same exact CutLine - word-for-word ...

 
At 9/02/2012 8:12 AM, Blogger Krishnan said...

There is much that can be done to eliminate discrimination. The DOJ should sue car manufacturers (except GM of course, target all foreign manufacturers). Today, a blind person cannot drive on roads paid for by taxes - the technology exists for allowing a blind person from driving on busy roads (just ask Google). The fact that foreign car makers have so far refused to incorporate this technology into their cars makes them irresponsible and shows they are recklessly disregarding the ADA - to make accomodations for the blind (the accomodations are indeed reasonable, just ask the DOJ)

 
At 9/02/2012 8:23 AM, Blogger RollCast said...

Q: Do text-to-speech capable e-readers cost more?

If the library is going to provide e-readers, and there is no addition cost for TTS, then this seems like a no-brainer.

But that it is a discrimination suit, given that most of the library collection is inaccessible to the blind, is ridiculous. Using the Federal Sledgehammer to crack a peanut.

 
At 9/02/2012 8:23 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: there is so much DOJ could do

the irony here is that you have two govt agencies whacking on each other and the anti-govt CNS cheering them on!

It appears that what is happening is that the advocates for the blind want libraries to includes text-to-speech in their ereader programs and not end up with ereader programs that don't have it - even though the technology does exist.

Perhaps this will encourage the Nook folks to produce a software upgrade.

for the folks who are not rabidly anti-govt - this is how govt works - for people - by people getting involved to advocate for things that do concern them - and govt does respond although in this case I will admit that getting the DOJ involved seems to be a bit of overkill - although if you think about it - the advocates for the blind want libraries across the country to see the issue and not make the same mistake that San Diego has and one way to do that is to push the issue to a national level ....

what is the real "over-reach" here anyhow?

 
At 9/02/2012 8:26 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

Pulverized Concepts,

I agree with you completely. However, a public library is not private property.

Frankly, I think public libraries have outlived their usefulness. Books are cheap and you can now borrow books on the kindle e-reader. They perform pretty much the same function as a public library.

 
At 9/02/2012 8:36 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

I half way agree with methinks - although the libraries also offer book "borrowing" on e-readers but the availability is still not really resolved and major disputes about putting copyrighted material on electronic "lending" remain.

But in rural and suburban areas, you'll find that the libraries WiFi is a huge benefit to those who do not have the internet at their house or it's available on via cellular internet which becomes ungodly expensive to do things like operating system updates or other data-intensive tasks - like downloading a book.

I personally have felt like libraries should be fee-based except for kids that are disadvantaged.

One of the most amazing things you see now days (at least where I live) is book sales where thousands of books of every kind are available for a buck or even a quarter.

these sales used to be once a year and now they are so often that I wonder if there won't be just a permanent place set aside for donated books....the ultimate in a lending library!

 
At 9/02/2012 8:49 AM, Blogger Krishnan said...

Re: Larry G - the premise is that without GOVERNMENT - people have no choices and will not be helped in anyway - that those selling have no incentive to make it easier for people to buy (or some such).

It is this premise that most "anti government" types disagree with. If anything, GOVERNMENT has in just about most cases made things worse - or will take credit for things that were already happening.

 
At 9/02/2012 8:56 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: no choice but govt.

not true. but govt is an option in some cases and in the case advocates for the blind - govt was apparently a better option that them going around to each and every library and trying to convince them.

The creation of the ADA law was basically in response to too many organizations that were not interested in accommodating people with disabilities.

I'll admit that if the ADA was a proposal today that it would probably not have near the support it did - in prior years.

 
At 9/02/2012 10:28 AM, Blogger Krishnan Chittur said...

Re: Larry G - I accept the premise as to why the ADA may have been necessary - but what we must ask is Why people and organizations were (or may not have been) accomodating people with disabilities - and I suspect that we may find GOVERNMENT in that as well - I believe that if people were indeed left alone - businesses left alone - they would do what would benefit the customers - "the blind" are indeed customers also and the people in the US have never been heartless about those that are "disabled" - To me, the assumption/premise is that BUT for GOVERNMENT we would not help the many who need help - We cannot answer that question today because GOVERNMENT is everywhere - but when we do look at the time when "robber barons" ruled the US - life improved for ALL - and charities were established, people were helped - NOT because they were told to do something - but people did.

I imagine that the ADA, by imposing mandates and regulations and controls may have improved lives for a few - but has strangled private initiative to help the many - and solutions that may have sprung up to help them were effectively killed - that is, the "unseen" effects of the ADA are indeed hard to quantify - but we cannot reject them as "would not have existed"

 
At 9/02/2012 10:54 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" but has strangled private initiative to help the many - and solutions that may have sprung up to help them were effectively killed "

I'm not convinced though I am partially persuaded.

it boils down to money for businesses.

for instance, you'll see WalMart offering mobility carts but not accommodations for the blind.

right?

and what ADA did originally was establish the thinking that "public" facilities should be more accommodating .... not to every single kind of disability but to some....

one would not be unreasonable, in my view, to think that a library would be responsive to the blind if they could - because books and learning on fundamental and if you can learn - as a result of a "reasonable" accommodation, they probably should.

wrong?

 
At 9/02/2012 11:30 AM, Blogger Krishnan said...

Perhaps WalMart is NOT accomodating blind people today - but who knows what they may do (on their own) in the future - if it makes sense for the business, they will - and in this case, if they figure out that by "accomodating" the blind their other customers would be pleased, they would do so ... I'd rather they do that than be forced to do so (yea, private business may be, but the GOVERNMENT reaches everywhere).

Yes, if facilities are "public" GOVERNMENT can come and demand anything -

The issue is NOT about whether it is a good idea to help the blind being able to read and learn and study (and I personally think it is a great idea) - but whether doing "good" at the point of a gun is a good idea (and it is not)

Again - a premise is that BUT for this, the blind would be unable to read/learn - I simply cannot accept that - because the US has been so generous to ALL - and so solutions present themselves without people being "forced" to ...

 
At 9/02/2012 11:41 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: public education and learning facilities.

if govt IS going to provide to the non-disabled public - schools and library facilities for the express purpose to benefit them - the question is should they do the same for those with disabilities?

I agree about WalMart and it points out the difference between what benefits WalMart and what is intended to benefit he public.

WalMart provides accommodation only if it benefits their bottom line - and they should but when govt provides facilities to learn they have a different standard, right?

 
At 9/02/2012 11:51 AM, Blogger Krishnan said...

Continuing along ... The premise is that Government has a different standard and so does things that may not (or should not) have a bottom line - Fact is, EVERY action has a bottom line - and businesses have every reason to have even more educated people (blind OR not) - We have taken for granted that there are some things private businesses will never do and that we should have them - so, we take money from private businesses (and people) (by force) and do them. That is wrong, IMO - We should not assume that businesses would not do "A" or "B" - true that they are not doing "A" or "B" - but that may be because they have other constraints on what they can do

The profit motive amazing in what it has done for all (particularly the least able)

There is a link to a Milton Friedman lecture on "myths" - I recommend that highly - the myth about "robber barons" is particularly instructive - ...

 
At 9/02/2012 12:04 PM, Blogger Pulverized Concepts said...

Don't you suppose that if a blind person wished to know the contents of some literary classic like, let's say Erich Segal's Love Story, that person might be able to get a friend or relative to read it to him or even hire a stranger to do so. There's the possibility that the government could establish a benefit program to finance that. But requiring libraries to supply certain types of equipment? Didn't know there was a Department of Libraries in the US govt.

 
At 9/02/2012 1:07 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

Re:taking money by force / bottom line

Off the libatarian trolley again

Local taxes. Elected officials = what people who pay taxes want them spent on + including those who read in different ways.

Are we against libraries & taxes also and the blind issue is in addition?

 
At 9/02/2012 1:07 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

Re:taking money by force / bottom line

Off the libatarian trolley again

Local taxes. Elected officials = what people who pay taxes want them spent on + including those who read in different ways.

Are we against libraries & taxes also and the blind issue is in addition?

 
At 9/02/2012 1:47 PM, Blogger hancke said...

The problem with government bureaucrats deciding subjectively who or what is not complying with law is they can be wrong and face zero consequences. It was a pilot program. A simple letter stating full implementation would require ADA compliance should have been adequate. However that is not the way of kingdom building bureaucrats.

 
At 9/02/2012 2:56 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" A simple letter stating full implementation would require ADA compliance should have been adequate. However that is not the way of kingdom building bureaucrats."

I agree. So we do agree that the library needed to be in compliance and the issue is how DOJ went about it?

This issue has all the earmarks of a back story.. as one might believe that if an initial letter was all that was needed and there was one... what happened?

I still think what was going on was that the advocates for the blind wanted to establish a benchmark for ADA compliance on e-readers, that they thought it wrong for the library to offer e-readers essentially only to patrons who were not blind - even though there are available e-readers that do "read" text to speech.

they were dealing with what they perceived to be - a precedent that if followed by other public libraries would effectively cut the blind off from publically-provided ereaders.

the "bottom line" here is that the private sector does not feel a responsibility to take less profit from items that serve the blind whereas public libraries and and other public facilities feel that it's part of their explicit mission.

I doubt seriously if in a given locality that they had a referenda on whether or not libraries should accommodate blind patrons that the voters would agree (not to serve them).

Perhaps if referenda were held, people would vote down locally-funded libraries all together - in some places - accommodations for the blind not withstanding.

 
At 9/02/2012 3:52 PM, Blogger Krishnan said...

Larry G: The issue is not about libraries - or blind people - (no, I am not against libraries or blind people)

Local communities can indeed decide to tax themselves as much or as little as they want - they can elect Mayors/Governors who can promise to increase taxes to "invest" ... the problem is that those that pay little to no tax may vote for increasing taxes - imagining that the "other guy" will pay the taxes - and when people "vote" with their feet, such communities will find out the consequence of tax and spend

The premise is that BUT for local taxation and "investment" there would be no libraries - Milton Friedman reminds us of what happened in the 19th Century when Federal spending was about 3% of GDP - private money was used to build universities (and libraries) and hospitals and ... this continues even today when wealthy individuals spend their money on issues they care about - and yes build universities, schools - libraries - If anything, I'd say BECAUSE of GOVERNMENT we are seeing less and less of this - After taxing someone throughout their lives, the GOVERNMENT comes and demands almost half (or more) of anything they may have saved - a "death tax" - as if GOVERNMENT can spend it better than the individuals - For all his liberalspeak, even Warren Buffett realizes that it is better for HIM (or his representatives) to spend HIS money than for GOVERNMENT - and yes, He (along with Gates and others) are spending THEIR money

Lesson: Leave those with the wealth alone - let them do what they want to do

 
At 9/02/2012 4:10 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: " . the problem is that those that pay little to no tax may vote for increasing taxes - imagining that the "other guy" will pay the taxes - and when people "vote" with their feet, such communities will find out the consequence of tax and spend

The premise is that BUT for local taxation and "investment" there would be no libraries - Milton Friedman"

well no...most communities - 1/2 or more of the taxes go to schools and then to deputies and fire/ems. Libraries are a really small part of the budget and most local "wealthy" tend to be among the bigger supporters of libraries.

right?

but making this a Milton Freedman " stealing money from people" issue expands it out..back out to the basic issue of taxes in general (the ole taxes are theft idea - i.e. any/all taxes for any purpose are de facto theft.

is that your essential point? or is there something more specific?

 
At 9/02/2012 4:25 PM, Blogger hancke said...

Larry, you keep missing the part about a pilot program. One generally limits the scope of a test program.

If the Nook was superior (or less expensive) as a standard e-reader why should the government force the library to not purchase any more of them as long as other e-readers are available to the blind?

 
At 9/02/2012 4:33 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" If the Nook was superior (or less expensive) as a standard e-reader why should the government force the library to not purchase any more of them as long as other e-readers are available to the blind? "

if the advocates for the blind felt like the lower price came at the expense of the blind, and there was a law that said that blind people should not be abandoned ...they would take advantage of that law - as opposed to the govt initiating on it's own, an action absent "encouragement" from the blind advoacy group.

I think again that the agenda here was to nip in the bud something that the blind folks thought could leave their blind clients behind in multiple libraries, each of them citing the original library's policy of having ereaders available tothe public, that did not serve the blind.

In their mind, their mission is to serve the interests of the blind using the available laws....

The Justice Dept has the option of supporting their claim or not - with the risk that if they take it to court that DOJ might be perceived as not doing their duty to defend the law.



 
At 9/02/2012 4:44 PM, Blogger hancke said...

Not every public library computer is special needs equipped nor is every other page in a book braille.

 
At 9/02/2012 4:54 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

"Not every public library computer is special needs equipped nor is every other page in a book braille."

that's probably true if the blind are not assertive but in any library that receives public funding - there is an issue that they serve those who need accommodations.

just like with those ramps you see, they are required by law for public institutions - though it is true that some public institutions do not provide them - until threatened with an ADA lawsuit.

Most public institutions these days tend to meet the requirement of the ADA law although in the case of ereaders - there is room for interpretation.

The advocates for the blind have their interpretation and the library had their and then DOJ had theirs.

Again - I do not think the DOJ initiated this -the advocates for the blind did.

Once they initiated it, DOJ had to defend it - even if they did not agree, they would end up in court.

wrong?




 
At 9/02/2012 6:04 PM, Blogger Krishnan said...

Do we have a choice in paying taxes? No. I am not talking just "income tax". There are the ponzi schemes called "Social Security" and "Medicare". There are state taxes, local taxes, tax on food and grocery (yea, many states do), tax on almost everything we buy - as "needs" and not "wants". And we are told "We are doing this for the good of the community and so you will also benefit".

Yes, money taken from someone without their consent is stealing - and yes I know that taxes are needed for many things - the problem is that today, we are asked to pay for not just defending our borders and implementing a law and order system to enforce contracts, keep private property safe - but for just about anything some politician can think about.

It is bizarre how happy communities get when a politician (Congressman or Senator) manages to get an ear-mark or whatever for their "community" - as if the money came from thin-air. It is bizarre that the most important people in the community happen to be "politicians" who call themselves "public servants" - in reality they enrich themselves and their cronies while in office while pretending they are doing "public service"

Why is it that we celebrate when we are forced to part with money and ecstatic that some of it comes back? Why is it that we do not ask as to why the money is not taken to begin with?

Sure - GOVERNMENT can do "good" things and even occassionally do "great things" - but again, the premise is that unless someone places a gun to someone's head and say "Now give me your money for your own good" no good will happen.

And talking about "public servants" - unions collect money from their members to lobby the politicians - so the political class sits on both sides of the negotiating table while many taxpayers are stolen from. A few people will definitely benefit - the benefits are indeed concentrated, the costs are dispersed - so there is no huge outcry about the costs - but celebration of the benefits, by a few, in the name of the many.

Yes, fundamentally - forced taxation is theft. And yes, today no one will voluntarily send in more money in taxes (including the regressives) - but I do believe that when the call comes for people to send money, they do - if they see a reason and a purpose. I do believe that a limited government can indeed raise any/all the revenues it needs for the basic functions of defense, law and order and the justice system - without putting a gun to the heads of people - if only they can make the argument as to why they need it.

We have lost the idea of what a Government is for - today, the basic idea has morphed into a system that enables a few to enrich themselves at the public trough while claiming they are doing public good. It is indeed time to ask how we can start paring government down - and do what it is supposed to do, well.

The expansion of Government has happened during both Republican AND Democrat administration - since they both have after all human beings interested in pursuing their own interest at the expense of the public that pays the taxes. Name me one politician or "public servant" who is into politics to "serve" the people and not get rich as a result BECAUSE of it.

 
At 9/02/2012 6:30 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"CNS is a credible source of news?

this has all he earmarks of a right-wing false narrative that some folks will just suck up without checking the facts.
"

Another ad-hom from Larry pretending to debate an issue.

What about the *issue*?

 
At 9/02/2012 6:37 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I stand corrected though I still do not understand because most ereaders will "read" the book and that would seem to be a clear advantage and benefit to those with disabilities."

You wrote a rather long comment attacking the source of the information for someone who doesn't even understand what the issues are, and that the Nooks in question DON'T read books to you.

 
At 9/02/2012 6:59 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Here's a more balanced and explanatory report:"

What is the source of that more balanced source? You didn't cite it. May the rest of us know? I wouldn't want to trust some left wing fascist source.

The information you presented is exactly what we already know from the original post. Why is it better?

The complaint and resolution is indeed overreach, as it forbids the library to buy any more devices that can't be used by the blind. If the library bought enough text-to-speech e-readers to meet all demand by blind visitors, and I can't imagine there are many of them, wouldn't it be OK for them to buy more non T2S readers for those who didn't need that feature?

The ADA is a prime example of a well intentioned program that does more harm than good. After this, how many libraries just won't buy any e-readers at all?

The message is that the library can't provide something for anyone unless you provide it for everyone. A ridiculous notion. What should they do with their current collection of DVDs? Isn't there a problem with those?

 
At 9/02/2012 7:08 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I still think what was going on was that the advocates for the blind wanted to establish a benchmark for ADA compliance on e-readers, that they thought it wrong for the library to offer e-readers essentially only to patrons who were not blind - even though there are available e-readers that do "read" text to speech."

How many blind patrons do you think the Sacramento library has? Do you have any idea how many people were actually harmed by this insensitive action?

Then ask yourself how many people you think there are who don't already have a T2S e=book reader?

Do you think a blind person actually went to the library, learned that e-readers were available, and then left in tears when they found they couldn't use them?

 
At 9/02/2012 7:11 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Eric:

"Your knee jerk reactions don't reflect well on you."

LOL

Based on most of his comments Larry obviously isn't concerned with what others think of him.

 
At 9/02/2012 7:37 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I personally have felt like libraries should be fee-based except for kids that are disadvantaged."

You mean privately owned business? User pays?

What a great idea! I'm surprised you feel that way.

 
At 9/02/2012 7:49 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"not true. but govt is an option in some cases and in the case advocates for the blind - govt was apparently a better option that them going around to each and every library and trying to convince them."

The unintended consequence - and there always are some - is that libraries may not buy e-readers at all for the use of patrons. As usual heavy handed actions like this may hurt the very people it's intended to help, as well as those who can't afford their own e-reader to take advantage of available e-books at libraries.

It's a well documented fact that ADA has decreased employment opportunities for the handicapped instead of helping them as it was intended to do.

 
At 9/02/2012 7:58 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"for instance, you'll see WalMart offering mobility carts but not accommodations for the blind."

And what would those accommodations "look like"?

How many blind people do you think get themselves to Walmart without help and need special accommodations once they reach the store? Even guide dogs aren't much help picking out clothes.

"Look, Fido, do you think this will fit me?"

Woof!

OK, I won't buy it then.

Say... you didn't bring me to the junior misses' section again did you?

 
At 9/02/2012 8:04 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" The unintended consequence - and there always are some - is that libraries may not buy e-readers at all for the use of patrons."

more likely, the spec for ereaders will now require text to speech ... and that will be the end of it.

re: " Do we have a choice in paying taxes?"

have you considered elections?

" Yes, money taken from someone without their consent is stealing"

not according to the law and constitution.

taxes have been determined to be Constitutional in virtually every country in the world that taxes.

and the reason why is that the vast majority people support taxation to provide the things they want.

I keep asking folks to name the top 3 countries in the world that most emulate libertarian principles especially when it comes to "theft"/taxes and so far I've not got any answer.

It appears that the entire planet is anti-libertarian.

curious thing... eh?

 
At 9/02/2012 8:10 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: accommodations for the blind...

how about an ereader with a bar code scanner that can tell the customer what is, it' size and it's price?

don't get me wrong.. Walmart is more than free to do (or not) what it wishes in accordance with what best meets it's own bottom line.

but the bottom line of publically-supported institutions like Libraries is different from private entities like WalMart.

I'd support fees for libraries myself.... let those who want it's services pay for them and let the folks who don't not pay for them but I find myself seriously outnumbered where I live.

The vast majority of people ...strangely enough,including the rich - want those public libraries.

It's a nasty thing when you live in a country with elected governance and it ain't your cup of tea but my perception here is that most of the self-avowed "anti-theft" types here would be even unhappier in other countries... so they stay here and carp...unfortunately for the rest of us.

 
At 9/02/2012 8:14 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Didn't know there was a Department of Libraries in the US govt."

The ADA doesn't discriminate (heh) and is an equal opportunity oppressor. Public, private, it's all the same to the ADA.

 
At 9/02/2012 8:22 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"they were dealing with what they perceived to be - a precedent that if followed by other public libraries would effectively cut the blind off from publically-provided ereaders."

Their action may result in everyone being cut off from publicly provided e-readers.

 
At 9/02/2012 8:35 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

Their action may result in everyone being cut off from publicly provided e-readers

more likely cut off from ereaders that lack text to speech capabilities, eh?

maybe this will end up adding a feature that others can use also... like when they are able to listen but can't look....

tempest in a teapot here unless of course your agenda is to attack the govt ... or ADA.. which is the real purpose of the "complaint".

 
At 9/02/2012 8:49 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"more likely, the spec for ereaders will now require text to speech ... and that will be the end of it."

What nonsense. Where do you get this stuff?

Oh never mind, now I remember.

"the spec" includes features on products that private businesses design to attract consumer dollars. If text to speech is a popular option and is commonly sought after, then it could become universal. If not, it could disappear as an option.

Are you in favor of a government mandated "spec" for all e-readers?

Oh never mind, I already know you are.

 
At 9/02/2012 8:55 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"not according to the law and constitution."

And not according to Larry.

Everything that is legal isn't legitimate.

The law at one time provided for the return of runaway slaves. At that time in history, I can imagine you defending that.

Taxation is theft no matter what you call it and no matter how you try to justify it.

 
At 9/02/2012 10:15 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"how about an ereader with a bar code scanner that can tell the customer what is, it' size and it's price?"

You can do that now with your iPhone.

The issue is whether blind people feel confident in buying something they can't see.

 
At 9/02/2012 10:21 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"have you considered elections?"

Elections are overrated. I usually have few acceptable choices, and on issues like ADA I'm usually outvoted by fascists like you.

 
At 9/02/2012 10:27 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"maybe this will end up adding a feature that others can use also... like when they are able to listen but can't look...."

...but wouldn't choose to pay for.

As you seem to know little about them, you must not own any type of e-reader, but many people own them. They buy for themselves what they themselves want and need.

There's no reason blind people can't do the same. we aren't talking about poverty here, only blindness. There's no reason to supply public e-readers to anyone.

 
At 9/02/2012 11:04 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"this has all he earmarks of a right-wing false narrative that some folks will just suck up without checking the facts"...

Well larry g since you shoved your foot into your pie hole with that inane line, tell us how does your foot taste to you?

 
At 9/04/2012 12:39 PM, Blogger 434AT3M3 said...

Apple's way of getting back at Amazon and the Kindle.

The Apple fan boys will deny this but Apple does not like it's users to have the ability to choose and they don't want consumers to have the ability to choose.

Apple is losing market share because we are at the point in the product cycle for smart phones, tablets, and music players.

You can't stop the cycle by suing...

 

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