[Athen] free accessible EPUB reader?

Sorensen, Neal B neal.sorensen at mnsu.edu
Mon Mar 4 07:02:47 PST 2019

For EPUB, I think your best bet is Microsoft Edge (provided you're on a PC). It has built-in EPUB support, a navigation and options toolbar, and Edge has a "Read Aloud" feature which has made me rethink it's viability as a browser. You don't have to bring your own TTS reader to Edge, it will do that itself.

Alternatively, I think Google Drive has an EPUB reader feature, but it's BYOR (bring your own reader). Or on a Mac, iBooks will read an EPUB, that has a TTS reader built-in too, though I have not tested that personally. Smartphone readers are pretty good too.

Support for EPUBs is catching up a bit, but slowly... Karen: I'm curious what your experiences were in creating an EPUB with Calibre? I have tried that, but found it pretty cumbersome and confusing with all the options and configuration that was possible.

Neal Sorensen
Access Specialist
Accessibility Resources
Minnesota State University, Mankato
132 Memorial Library
Mankato, MN 56001

Phone: 507-389-5242
FAX: 507-389-1199
Email: neal.sorensen at mnsu.edu<mailto:neal.sorensen at mnsu.edu>

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From: athen-list <athen-list-bounces at mailman12.u.washington.edu> On Behalf Of Susan Kelmer
Sent: Monday, March 4, 2019 8:43 AM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: [Athen] free accessible EPUB reader?

Hahahah! I'm happy to get a laugh this morning after a ridiculous commute in snowy conditions.

Of course, there are a lot of "accessible" readers out there, but very few, if any, that work with a student's existing TTS or screenreading technology. At best, you can franken-science something together, like using Windows Edge to open the ePub, then use Windows Narrator to listen to the file. I know that way works pretty well. Read and Write will open an ePub and read it, and includes navigation as it shows the chapters broken down on the side, so it isn't too bad. Kurzweil is a no-win because it just opens the whole file with no really useful navigation.

If you're trying to use a screen reader to read the ePub, I think, again, you can open it in Edge for Windows, and I think other browsers. But how the ePub was made is going to be the best determiner of if it can be used with any form of AT.

Susan Kelmer
Alternate Format Production Program Manager
Disability Services
University of Colorado Boulder

From: athen-list <athen-list-bounces at mailman12.u.washington.edu<mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman12.u.washington.edu>> On Behalf Of Karlen Communications
Sent: Saturday, March 2, 2019 6:02 AM
To: 'Access Technology Higher Education Network' <athen-list at u.washington.edu<mailto:athen-list at u.washington.edu>>
Subject: [Athen] free accessible EPUB reader?


It's been a long time since I taught how to create Daisy books and knew what readers were accessible.

I'm taking a look at EPUB and I've created a book from one of my tutorials. I now want to read it, but didn't want to use the Calibre viewer/the app I used to create the book as I want to see how it reads in another viewer.

Any suggestions on a free but good EPUB reader that is accessible? What are students and faculty using?

Cheers, Karen
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