September 15, 2010, 2:49 PM

eBay teams up with the National Federation of the Blind

The online marketplace seeks to make it easier for blind consumers to buy and sell.

Lead Photo

EBay Inc. today said it is working with the National Federation of the Blind to create more opportunities for blind consumers to buy and sell on the site.

The site already offers features that seek to make it easy for users to search, browse, buy, bid and sell using the keyboard alone, as well as to engage assistive technologies such as screen access software that detects what is being displayed on the computer screen and converts it into speech.

With the agreement, eBay and the NFB plan to also provide seed funding for blind entrepreneurs, recruit people who are blind to teach blind consumers how to sell on eBay, and create an NFB e-commerce store on eBay.

“This isn't about checking a box to make sure we're compliant with any specific guidelines," says Jonas  Klink, senior product manager of accessibility. "This is about making sure we can offer a great user experience for everyone.”

The announcement comes about six months after a deaf woman sued the online marketplace, claiming that eBay’s seller telephone verification process prevented her from selling items on the site.

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