More iTunes for the blind

Massachusetts, Sep 27 | Updated: Sep 28 2008, 06:22am hrs
Most teens listen to their music on digital players, but Cory Cadlik, who is blind, had to ask for help when he wanted to buy songs for his iPod from the online music store iTunes. To Cadlik, a self-described tech geek, that was too frustrating to tolerate. For me to be as tech savvy as I am, and not be able to do something ... I hated it, said Cadlik, 17, of Medway, Massachusetts. On Friday, Cadlik was making plans to get his iPod back after Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley reached agreement with Apple Inc to programme iTunes to make it accessible to anyone with software that blind people use to read the internet. Tony Olivero of the National Federation of the Blind demonstrated the technology at a press conference at the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, just outside Boston. Olivero navigated through iTunes, guided by a voice that called out whatever he slid the mouse pointer over, including file commands and the movie, music

and television titles

iTunes sells.

Cadlik planned to test out the new iTunes this weekend by sampling some hard rock from bands like Breaking Benjamin and Chevelle. You had no access before, Cadlik said. When this came out ... I said, Wow, this is great, this is awesome. Under the agreement, Apple must make iTunes accessible to all systems by next June.

Providing equal access to online stores is required in the same way supermarket aisles must be a certain width to accommodate people with disabilities. Coakley said a lot of industries are working to make the internet more accessible because they know its good business to give more people a way to buy your product.

AP