eBay to Help Blind People Sell Online

Site improvements, partnership with advocacy group will help the vision impaired start businesses.

by Auctiva.com staff writer
- Sep 15, 2010

With an estimated 70 percent of blind Americans being unemployed or under employed, eBay and the National Federation of the Blind have teamed to make it easier for people with vision impediments to start their own business online.

eBay says it will make changes to its site that will allow users to buy or sell items with just the use of their keyboards. It will also make the site easier to navigate using assistive technology like screen access software, officials say. The two organizations will also help promising blind entrepreneurs fund their online ventures, and they'll recruit blind Americans to become eBay educators. They'll even create an NFB eBay Store.

"eBay has built a reputation as a driver of job creation by helping entrepreneurs start up and grow their businesses," says eBay's CEO John Donahoe. "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."

Making these adjustments will make it easier for the blind to access the estimated 92 million people who frequent eBay to buy and sell goods, and the 200 million live listings on the site.

"eBay is demonstrating true leadership and commitment to accessibility, along with creating exciting opportunities for blind Americans," says 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."

eBay was slapped with a lawsuit earlier this year in which a deaf woman said eBay's registration process discriminated against people with hearing impediments.

About the Author

Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.

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