Text-to-speech and adjustable font sizes are two features that have been around for years on Kindle
devices to help vision-impaired Kindle owners with learning disabilities. Now Amazon
is bringing "Voice Guide" and "Explore by Touch" to its standard definition Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD 7" tablets. These two accessibility features were previously available on just the Kindle Fire HD 8.9" tablet
"We have heard from thousands of customers who are vision-impaired that Kindle has made a difference in their lives. With Kindle Fire HD 8.9" and soon our full line of new tablets, we are continuing our efforts to provide a range of accessibility features—Voice Guide, Explore by Touch, text-to-speech, optional text coloring and adjustable font sizes—for our vision-impaired customers," said Dave Limp, Vice President, Amazon Kindle. "We plan to deliver additional accessibility features, so that our vision-impaired customers can have a better experience for reading, communicating and consuming media."
With Voice Guide navigation enabled, any action performed by the Kindle owner will be read aloud. The idea is to provide immediate feedback to visually-impaired individuals.
Taking it a step further, using the Explore by Touch mode, customers can swipe their fingers across the touchscreen and as they touch an item, the Kindle announces which item has been tapped. A second tap performs the default action.