The US government plans to buy up to 35.000 Kindle touch reader including 50 eBooks on each device. Those devices are intended to be provided worldwide in libraries within the “English Access Microscholarship Program” by the department of foreign affairs. The kindle reader is not suited for handicapped persons, e.g. blind or persons with visual impairments. However, this is a mission critical fact for the US government.
The kindle reader offers a speech to text feature, but this feature can be only accessed via normal text menus. Hence this is not a barrier free access. The US government selected amazon without making a prior call for tender due to the fact that amazon is the one and only who can fulfill all 19 criteria of the ministry. Now everything has changed. The press conference between Hillary Clinton and amazon boss Jeff Bezos was cancelled. The reason was probably a not very friendly letter from the national federation of the blind where they clearly stated, that the kindle touch reader is not barrier free.