Chris Armstong has a smart piece on Amazon’s recent move to remove text-to-speech from the Kindle lineup.
Text-to-speech is a bread and butter accessibility feature. If a customer cannot enjoy a book visually, why penalise the customer further by not allowing them to enjoy it audibly? Audiobooks are clearly the preferred options for both average customers and the visually impaired or disabled, however the library of audiobooks is smaller. The compromise text-to-speech makes in quality is below what average customers want, but it’s a lifeline to the visually impaired, who have few options.
It seems as though we keep moving forward from a technological standpoint, but we have to revert far too often. I’d like to think that publishers would like to reach as many readers as possible, regardless of their limitations, but I guess I’m wrong.