[Athen] free accessible EPUB reader?

Karlen Communications info at karlencommunications.com
Mon Mar 4 07:44:06 PST 2019


I purposely started with one of my own well-structured Word document
tutorials because I wanted to compare the experience between all of my years
in PDF with creating an "equally accessible" EPUB. First, I had to turn my
screen reader off which left me with only screen magnification. I then just
opened my Word doc and converted it. The challenge was then trying to read
it with a screen reader not TTS.

As I mentioned in my response to Susan, I have no idea why it fully
justified my text when my text is all left aligned. I started looking at
some of the settings/preferences and was overwhelmed. On the other hand,
learning how to Tag PDF back in 2003-4 was equally overwhelming just trying
to figure out which tool or setting did what.

So with EPUB, I still have the training wheels on until I can solidly know
what I'm looking for in the resulting EPUB files. Then, and I will give
Susan another laugh for today, I'll move into some InDesign and more complex
layouts. :)

As with PDF, there is NO easy button! But I knew that going in. It is just
finding a good tool that is accessible and understandable in how its tools
are organized.

Cheers, Karen

From: athen-list <athen-list-bounces at mailman12.u.washington.edu> On Behalf
Of Sorensen, Neal B
Sent: Monday, March 4, 2019 10:03 AM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: [Athen] free accessible EPUB reader?

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
<mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman12.u.washington.edu> > On Behalf Of Susan
Sent: Monday, March 4, 2019 8:43 AM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu
<mailto: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
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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