[Athen] Macmillan publisher

Russell Solowoniuk solowoniukr at macewan.ca
Fri Apr 20 13:13:49 PDT 2018

Hi Bevi,

It's not been my experience that the latest versions of AT are able to deal well with ligatures. I use the latest version of Jaws, 2018, and we still encounter many PDFs where ligatures cause major reading issues. A lot of our students use Read and Write Gold, again, the latest edition, and still have issues with ligatures. What happens is, for example, words containing the letters "fi" read as if there were a space after the "fi". So, the word "office" reads "offi" "ce".

Some PDFs are worse than others, and I'm not sure why. Any ideas?


From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of chagnon at pubcom.com
Sent: Friday, April 20, 2018 1:45 PM
To: 'Access Technology Higher Education Network' <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: [Athen] Macmillan publisher

For those who use Adobe InDesign, ligatures can be a problem for some A T.

They're beautiful (most times) for printed documents so I advise my clients and students to build their use into their stylesheets for the printed versions of their publications, aka for the exported press-quality PDFs.

But for those InDesigners who also must also make accessible PDFs and EPUBs, adjust your stylesheets to not use ligatures before exporting your accessible PDFs and EPUB versions.

This isn't tough to do. Hopefully you can catch one of my Sec. 508 + InDesign classes (at AHG, OK AbleTech, other conferences, and online through my company) and learn how to do this quickly and efficiently. Not rocket science, but you do need to learn the tricks.

For those in student assistance offices, when students have problems with ligatures, most can be rectified by updating their A T. Older versions can stumble on recognizing ligatures and other Unicode glyphs (such as for math, science, and foreign languages). But the latest versions of screen readers now recognize most of the commonly used glyphs, including the common Unicode ligatures.

In time, all stakeholders will catch up and this won't be a problem anymore. Well, hopefully!

-Bevi Chagnon
- - -
Bevi Chagnon, founder/CEO | Bevi at PubCom.com<mailto:Bevi at PubCom.com>
- - -
PubCom: Technologists for Accessible Design + Publishing
consulting * training * development * design * sec. 508 services
Upcoming classes at www.PubCom.com/classes<http://www.PubCom.com/classes>
- - -

From: athen-list <athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu<mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu>> On Behalf Of Russell Solowoniuk
Sent: Friday, April 20, 2018 3:14 PM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu<mailto:athen-list at u.washington.edu>>
Subject: Re: [Athen] Macmillan publisher

We just ran into the same issue with Macmillan. When I explained to Christine that the student in question uses Read and Write Gold, and that RWG does not work well with ePub files in Adobe Digital Editions, Christine sent me a PDF. Unfortunately, the PDF had issues with ligatures. We often have this with PDFs, but this one was especially bad. Christine is going to see if they have a better quality PDF.

Have a great weekend everyone.


From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Jennifer McDowell
Sent: Friday, April 20, 2018 10:26 AM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu<mailto:athen-list at u.washington.edu>>
Subject: Re: [Athen] Macmillan publisher

I have also run into this problem with Macmillan, though I have actually had success in getting PDFs from Christine (though it took a little while and some follow up on my part). My argument/concern was that we have a Read&Write site license on our campus that a majority of students use for text-to-speech, and as of now, Read&Write does not read EPUBs.

That worked (though I had to forward the email from TextHelp support proving what I said was true), and she sent the PDFs to me (through Dropbox I think). So it is possible, the PDFs do still exist, there are just some extra hoops to jump through. ;)

Good luck, and happy Friday all!


Jennifer McDowell
Alternative Text Specialist, Disability Services
978.542.6217 // fax: 978.542.2064
tty: 978.542.7146 // vp: 978.910.0167

352 Lafayette Street
Salem, MA 01970

On Apr 20, 2018, at 11:44 AM, Andrea L. Dietrich <adietrich at cornell.edu<mailto:adietrich at cornell.edu>> wrote:

I've encountered the same thing with some files. The lack of page numbers is the biggest problem, in my opinion. It's not too hard to convert an epub to a PDF, if that's what the student needs -- many would probably be fine using the epub directly, and there are actually some things I personally PREFER about epubs, but not having page numbers that correspond to the original text is a big deal breaker, IMO.

Does anyone know if there's a way to easily add page numbers to an epub file?

BTW, for conversion, I use Calibre. I think I've seen others mention it on here, so you probably already know about it, but it's a great program for converting ebooks between unusual file formats.

-Andi :)

Andrea Dietrich
Accommodations Specialist
Cornell Health, Level 5
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-3101
t. 607-254-4545
f. 607.255.1562
ald88 at cornell.edu<mailto:ald88 at cornell.edu>
For more information about Student Disability Services, sds.cornell.edu<https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsds.cornell.edu%2F&data=02%7C01%7C%7Ca8009953741e44566c9308d5a6d60997%7C70d32b73b45749d1950c4f78aeffc21b%7C0%7C0%7C636598360579196799&sdata=HyGgL17PVgzxGTkuxh9Y2HngqkHYemyDK8rpgScp4LQ%3D&reserved=0>
<image001.jpg><https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FCornellSDS&data=02%7C01%7C%7Ca8009953741e44566c9308d5a6d60997%7C70d32b73b45749d1950c4f78aeffc21b%7C0%7C0%7C636598360579196799&sdata=%2FSGJltbfTQ%2FVRYkU%2Br1rpbgC3LohMF5IB1TiwW24jyc%3D&reserved=0> Follow us on Facebook<https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FCornellSDS&data=02%7C01%7C%7Ca8009953741e44566c9308d5a6d60997%7C70d32b73b45749d1950c4f78aeffc21b%7C0%7C0%7C636598360579196799&sdata=%2FSGJltbfTQ%2FVRYkU%2Br1rpbgC3LohMF5IB1TiwW24jyc%3D&reserved=0>

From: athen-list <athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu<mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu>> On Behalf Of Kluesner, Bryon
Sent: Friday, April 20, 2018 11:00 AM
To: athen-list at u.washington.edu<mailto:athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: [Athen] Macmillan publisher

Yesterday, I received EPUB3 files from Macmillan instead of PDF files. The problem with the EPUB3 files, is each individual page of a chapter is a separate xhtml file and there are no page numbers. When I sent a request through Access Text for the PDF version of the file, I received the following response:

We are no longer producing accessible PDFs of textbooks because we have transitioned to EPUB3 format, which is more accessible by nature and also reduces the risk of piracy.


My reply:

Hi Christine, while the EPUB3 may more accessible by nature, there are no page numbers and the individual files are more difficult to navigate for students rather than individual chapter PDF files. I think you need to reconsider not producing accessible PDF files. I expect other Disability Services providers will most likely have the same opinion as I do.

While I understand the reasoning behind Pearson and Macmillan wanting to use EPUB files, the format they are providing is making it more work for me, and there are no page numbers!

Just my Friday rant.

Have a good weekend everyone.


Bryon Kluesner, RhD
Adaptive Technology Coordinator
Disability Resource Center
Adjunct Professor
College of Health, Education & Professional Studies

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
103 Frist Hall
615 McCallie Avenue, Dept. 2953
Chattanooga, TN 37403

(423) 425-4006 | utc.edu/drc<https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.utc.edu%2Fdean-students&data=02%7C01%7C%7Ca8009953741e44566c9308d5a6d60997%7C70d32b73b45749d1950c4f78aeffc21b%7C0%7C0%7C636598360579196799&sdata=liJxrjeGZWcACNvvNrUlLgC2MfLZncLtZ5LP1NWigyo%3D&reserved=0>

Division of Student Development<https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.utc.edu%2Fstudent-development&data=02%7C01%7C%7Ca8009953741e44566c9308d5a6d60997%7C70d32b73b45749d1950c4f78aeffc21b%7C0%7C0%7C636598360579196799&sdata=EMveU4VCBkzTVodGKFnZPIZNep2FS7PIh6fwcB%2BzEqc%3D&reserved=0>

athen-list mailing list
athen-list at mailman13.u.washington.edu<mailto:athen-list at mailman13.u.washington.edu>

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mailman12.u.washington.edu/pipermail/athen-list/attachments/20180420/d5925c6f/attachment.html>

More information about the athen-list mailing list