Reading Systems Supporting Accessible EPUB 3 Bring New Opportunities to Print Impaired Customers

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The DAISY Consortium is partnering with BISG and IDPF to test reading systems for EPUB 3 compliance and accessibility. Developers receive concrete suggestions on how their products and services can be improved.

Voice Dream Dream Reader on iPhone 5s

Screenshot: Voice Dream Reader

The Consortium is also a member of the Readium Foundation which promotes and develops technologies accelerating the adoption of EPUB 3 and the Open Web Platform by the global digital publishing industry.

To make testing and evaluating reading systems easier, the DAISY Consortium and Tech For All developed the Accessibility Screening Guidelines and Checklist. The fundamental test book provides the essential accessibility tests and instructions to the person conducting the test. Advanced test books will be provided in the near future.

Well-structured text in a logical reading order is a baseline requirement for accessible EPUB 3 publications. To achieve a high fundamental accessibility score, users should be able to adjust font size and color. Also, text should be readable with a screen reader or self-voicing text-to-speech application, a refreshable braille display or assistive technologies designed for persons with dyslexia and other learning disabilities.

Based on current EPUB 3 compliance reports and accessibility evaluations, the following reading applications have achieved higher scores than others:

  •     VitalSource Bookshelf Desktop for Mac - portable, interactive e-book platform, available in 25 languages.
  •     Voice Dream Reader for iOS, available in more than 20 languages. Features Dyslexia friendly font, text and audio synchronization, customizable font size and color.
  •     Lektz for Android renders e-books in EPUB 2 and EPUB 3 formats on Android smartphones and tablets.
  •     Adobe Digital Editions with the NVDA screen reader, Version 4.0.3 supports EPUB 2, EPUB 2.0.1, and EPUB 3.0 as well as Media Overlays 3.0.
  •     Readium for Chrome with Windows 7 - Chrome browser extension configuration of ReadiumJS.
  •     Kobo Reader for iOS with VoiceOver.
  •     iBooks reading application for Apple devices.

The DAISY Consortium will promote reading systems that get to 100%. Developers are encouraged to improve their applications and devices.

The DAISY Consortium embraces the principles of worldwide collaboration and transparency that define open standards development. We also contribute expertise in standards working groups that are engaged in Inclusive Publishing and develop guidelines and checklists so that best practices are clear and widely available.

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Varju Luceno

George Kerscher

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