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This document contains on-going research in EPUB 3 inclusivity and accessibility. Currently the main threads of investigation are:

  • Accessibility challenges, especially MathML, ChemML, and scripted content.
  • EPUB 3 reader platforms which provide an inclusive experience
  • Inclusive EPUB 3 publishing platforms

 

Accessibility Challenge: MathML and ChemML

(warning) Further research needed

MathML and ChemML:

  • Example MathML: T x 1 x 2 x 3 = 6
  • Reads back as "Tee ex one ex two ex three equals six"
  • Possible notation ambiguity: When does "x" mean "variable x" or "multiply"?
  • Element "∈" symbol is read back as "Eee", not "element"

Possible hypothetical solutions for MathML and ChemML:

  • A publishing tool that analyses EPUB content for mathematical or chemistry related notation and automatically create SSML markup for that notation. For example:
    z ∈ KT
    z <span ssml:/ph="ɛləmənt">∈<span> K T
  • A reader platform function that detects ChemML or MathML markup and performs phonetic substitutions on-the-fly during Text-to-Speech synthesis.

    • Detection can be based on presence of schema.org metadata (i.e. accessibilityFeature:chemML or accessibilityFeature:mathML) or by parsing xml namespace (i.e. xmlns='http://www.xml-cml.org/schema')

  • This thread describes how to use aria to describe math
  • ARIA can (should?) be used to describe math, chemistry, scientific markup. MathML example from http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/aria-1.1/roles#math

    <div role="math" aria-label="6 divided by 4 equals 1.5">
      <math xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1998/Math/MathML">
        <mfrac>
          <mn>6</mn>
          <mn>4</mn>
        </mfrac>
        <mo>=</mo>
        <mn>1.5</mn>
      </math>
    </div>

Accessibility Challenge: Scripted Content

While it is recommended that scripted content have alternative forms (i.e. a text description) or not be critical to the understanding of the content, what are the best practices for making a good alternative experience for scripted content?

Types of scripted content:

  • Time based - reveal content over time (i.e. a cell going through mitosis, or a map of weather patterns over a decade)
  • Interaction based - content changes depending on actions of the user
  • etc.

Can work in other FLOE projects provide opportunities to address this? i.e. PGA or GPII?

eReaders

An eReader is a device or software that will unload ebook content into a consumable, "readable" format. An eReader can be a dedicated eReading device like a Kobo, Amazon Kindle, Sony Reader. An eReader can also be eReading software that is added to a non-dedicated eReading device like a tablet, phone, desktop computers, or desktop browsers and will display ebook, e-published content for the end user.

EPUB 3 Readers

Data in this table might be out of date. For up-to-date evaluation of current reader platforms and their support for EPUB 3, please visit: http://www.epubtest.org/


The following is a table of available EPUB 3 readers available.

(warning) TO DO: Go through this table and determine a short list of eReaders to recommend.

NameFeaturesPlatformMarket Share %License Type
Adobe Digital Editions (partial) 

Windows, Mac

unknownunknown
Aldiko 3.0.2v3.0.2 Android 4.4.2 (KitKat) featuresAndroidunknownunknown
Azardi Online web-basedunknownunknown
Azardi Desktopv26.0 Mac OS X 10.8.5 featuresWindows, Mac, Linuxunknownunknown
Azardi Mobile Android, iOSunknownunknown
Blio

v4.1 iOS 5.0.1 (9A405) features,

v3.1.2 Android 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean) features

 unknownunknown
Bluefire Reader

v2.0.2 iOS 7.0.4 (USA) features,

v2.0.1 Android 4.4.2 (USA) features

iOS, Android, web-basedunknownunknown
Booki.sh(??) web basedunknownunknown
Burean van Dijk Readerv8.5 Chrome 34 features unknownunknown
Cainteoir (partial)focus on text-to speech, open source, gtk and CLI clients[9]Linuxunknownunknown
CourseSmart

Chrome 32.0.1700.102 m Windows 7 (US) features,

Firefox 25.0.1 Windows 7 (US) features,

Safari 7.0.1 Mac OSx v10.9.1 features

 unknownunknown
Dolphin Easy Reader Windows onlyunknownunknown
GitdenReader

v4.1.3 Android 4.4.2 (KitKat) features,

v4.1.1 iOS 7.1 (11D167) features

Android, iOSunknownunknown
Gyan readerv1.7.1 Android 4.4.2 (KitKat) featuresAndroidunknownunknown
Helicon Books EPUB3 Readerv1.06 Android 4.4.2 (KitKat) featuresAndroidunknownunknown
iBooks

javascript support[9],

v3.2 iOS 7.0.4 on Apple iPad 3(US) features,

v3.1.3 iOS 5.1.1 on iPad 1 (US) features,

v1.0.1 Mac OS X 10.9.1 (US) features

  • script support
  • no media overlay support
iOS, Macunknownunknown
Ideal eBook readerjavascript support[9],Android (in beta)unknownunknown
Ingram VitalSource Bookshelf Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, web-basedunknownunknown
Kobo Reader Kobo eReader, HTML5 app, Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Blackberry.unknownunknown
Lektz Android, iOS, Chrome appunknownunknown
Lucifox Firefox Add-onunknownunknown
Publiwidejavascript support[9],multi-platform (Adobe flash/air), iOSunknownunknown
ReadiumIDPF reference implementation, open source[9],
  • media overlays
  • support for screen readers
  • script suppport
Chrome AppunknownLGPL 2.1
Kindle(???) multi-platformunknownunknown
epub.jsallows javascript execution[9],HTML5unknownunknown
ReadSpeaker DocReaderSupports "All browsers"HTML 5 Commercial

Screen Reader Users

Highlighted here are a few eReaders that have taken the time to consider how a screen reader would interact with e-published content.

For a mobile reader, Apple's iOS has access to many accessible apps and with VoiceOver provides a great reading experience. The iOS Kindle app is a great mainstream e-book reader. The built-in iBooks app has quite a few of feature supports EPUB 3 and one of the better implementations of EPUB 3 on mobile. Voice Dream is great with VoiceOver. It also has TTS synchronized highlightin and a focused-reading mode. (A few non-screen reader perks with Voice Dream is it's ability to read non-DRM'ed books from cloud services like DropBox or Google Drive and send note-taking to these services as well.) Voice Dream has a few down falls. It extracts the text from PDFs, which loses the formatting of the original book. EPUB 3 rich media is unavailable (no video, audio, or math)

Kindle Fire HDX has proved to be the most accessible mainstream Android for e-reading.

VitalSource Bookshelf eReader is a reader associated with Ingram VitalSource a distributor of digital academic books. On Mac and PC computers, screen readers and keyboard navigation is fully supported.[13] It has about 50% of the EPUB 3 features based on the device. It renders on Windows using IE, so the HTML 5 support with the browser will coincide with VitalSource's support for EPUB 3 documents. Unfortunately, this resource is meant for working with textbooks. For purchased textbooks, the highlighting and note taking is accessible, for "side-loaded" books, meaning "transferring data directly between two devices, avoiding the process of downloading the data via the Internet", the highlighting and note taking is not available.

Dolphin EasyReader combines a variety of accessibility features into one reader. For screen readers it is compatible with many screen readers. Their website promotes the use of the Dolphin Supernova screen reader but also mentions JAWs as working well with the desktop software. Dolphin EasyReader is for Windows.

Text To Speech (TTS) Users

  • Google Play Books
    • Pros:
      • syncs user notes and highlights with the browser version on your PC or Mac
    • Cons:
      • Android version is more feature rich iOS version doesn't have TTS synchronised highlighting)
  • Voice Dream
    • Pros:
      • non-DRM'ed books in Dropbox or Google Drive
      • Can connect Dropbox and Google Drive to note-taking
      • VoiceOver performance excellent
      • TTS synchronized highlighting. and distraction-free/focused-reading mode.
    • Cons:
      • PDFS the text is extracted and loses the formatting of the original book
      • Rich media of EPUB 3 unavailable (no video, audio, or math)
      • Cannot handle voicing of MathML (iOS with safari can do)
  • Apple iBooks

Media Overlay Support Readers

Although these readers do not have Text To Speech support necessarily, they do have the EPUB 3 support for Media Overlays that allow recorded audio to be synchronized and read-along with text.

The Readium reader is screen reader and keyboard accessible, and also has support for Media Overlays. Using Readium as developer / authoring testing platform is recommended to test accessibility features of EPUB 3 content.

 

Keyboard (or other input devices that hook into keyboard functionality) Users

Again, VitalSource Bookshelf eReader has full keyboard support. It is a reader associated with Ingram VitalSource a distributor of digital academic books. On Mac and PC computers, screen readers and keyboard navigation is fully supported.[13] It has about 50% of the EPUB 3 features based on the device. It renders on Windows using IE, so the HTML 5 support with the browser will coincide with VitalSource's support for EPUB 3 documents. Unfortunately, this resource is meant for working with textbooks. For purchased textbooks, the highlighting and note taking is accessible, for "side-loaded" books, meaning "transferring data directly between two devices, avoiding the process of downloading the data via the Internet", the highlighting and note taking is not available.

Code Checkers

Publication Software

EPUB 3 - free and open source software

EPUB 3 - Commercial software / services

EPUB 2 - Free software:

 

Fluid Community Meeting - Inclusive EPUB 3 Slide Deck

This slide deck was presented at the Fluid Community Workshop on Wednesday June 4, 2014. The intention of the presentation was to give an introduction to EPUB 3 and its features and limitations. The presentation concluded with a discussion about the inclusive EPUB 3 deliverable for the Floe project.

Download Inclusive EPUB 3 PDF - Inclusive_EPUB-3.pdf

Structure of an EPUB Book

  • cover image
  • table of contents (toc.ncx)
  • mimetype - text file stating the book's mime type
  • page_style.css - general CSS file for individual pages (i.e. margins)
  • any additional CSS files - you may add additional css files as needed for the publication. You will need to link it from the XHTML later.
  • titlepage.xhtml - the title page
  • META-INF/ directory containing container.xml which states metadata for the book

 

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