E-Books for Education? Not so Fast...

E-Books for Education? Not so Fast...

Much of the coverage of e-book products in recent months—especially Kindle Fire and products based on Apple’s new iBook platform—has focused on the potential of these products to revolutionize educational publishing.

While we agree the potential is great, many e-book-related products currently available in the market are not usable by whole segments of the population. Individuals with certain disabilities often cannot use hardware-based and software-based e-book readers.

This represents not only a loss of market share but also a form of discrimination. The market needs to respond with well-designed products that include people with disabilities and others—especially if makers of those products expect to sell their goods to clients with public-sector funding, such as schools and universities, government agencies, non-profits, and so forth.