Wednesday, September 15, 2010

eBay becomes more blind friendly, creates job opportunities for blind/vision impaired

I'm passing along the following press release as I know it will be of some interest to some readers. I cut out the contact info because something was really wonky with the formating and I couldn't find the little peice of code that was messing things up. I know you'll find the release, with contact info. on the NFB's Web site at

News Release

eBay and National Federation of the Blind Partner to Increase Ecommerce Job Opportunities

Innovative Partnership aims to empower blind Americans to gain employment, start businesses while buying and selling on eBay

San Jose, Calif. – September 15, 2010 – eBay, the world’s largest online marketplace, and the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) today announced a partnership to create more opportunities for blind Americans to access eBay as buyers and sellers. now includes enhanced features for users to buy, bid and sell using the keyboard alone, as well as improved ways to navigate content using assistive technologies such as screen access software. The blind can now more easily connect with eBay’s 92 million users and shop from 200 million live listings.

“We have great respect for the advocacy role the NFB plays in creating employment opportunities for the blind,” said John Donahoe, President and CEO of eBay Inc. “eBay has built a reputation as a driver of job creation by helping entrepreneurs start up and grow their businesses. We are excited about connecting with an even wider audience through this partnership and providing blind Americans with easier access to our marketplace for both buying and selling.”

“eBay is demonstrating true leadership and commitment to accessibility, along with creating exciting opportunities for blind Americans,” said Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind. “The National Federation of the Blind is thrilled with the accessibility of eBay’s buying and selling experience, and we look forward to working together with eBay on employment opportunities for blind Americans. This partnership demonstrates that when the blind and business leaders work together, everyone wins.”

With seventy percent of blind Americans either unemployed or underemployed1, job creation is critical to tackle the employment challenges facing the blind. The NFB and eBay aim to provide additional tools and support to the blind community to enable their success on eBay such as:

• Providing seed funding for promising blind entrepreneurs

• Recruiting members of the blind community to become eBay Trainers to educate other blind individuals in selling on eBay

• Creating an NFB ecommerce store on the eBay platform

About eBay

Founded in 1995 in San Jose, Calif., eBay Inc. (NASDAQ:EBAY) connects hundreds of millions of buyers and sellers globally on a daily basis through eBay, the world's largest online marketplace. For more information about the company and our global portfolio of online brands, visit

About the National Federation of the Blind

With more than 50,000 members, the National Federation of the Blind is the largest and most influential membership organization of blind people in the United States. The NFB improves blind people’s lives through advocacy, education, research, technology, and programs encouraging independence and self-confidence. It is the leading force in the blindness field today and the voice of the nation's blind. In January 2004 the NFB opened the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute, the first research and training center in the United States for the blind led by the blind. For more information about the National Federation of the Blind, please visit

1National Center for Health Statistics

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