[Athen] Publishers platforms and AT

kerscher at montana.com kerscher at montana.com
Wed Apr 21 12:19:05 PDT 2021


We continue to update the grid on epubtest.org. VitalSource, RedShelf are
maintained, and we know they plan to make updates and when they do, we will

If you send me the platforms you want tested, we can consider testing those
platforms. The integrations with LMS is more difficult for us to test, and
we need more people helping to test out with the various AT. Thorium is
really working well (I use the continuous updated version) and we have the
results up for NVDA, and I expect Jaws would be similar. However, Thorium
will require an unprotected EPUB , probably from Bookshare or ATN.

EBSCO and Fulcrum are also in the grid now, and we have the developers
joining our reading system testing calls; it is great to see the developers
there, and RedShelf, VitalSource, EBSCO, Fulcrum, and Thorium developers are
frequent visitors.

The DAISY webinar today was very good as an introduction (Deborah, you
personally know everything about what we presented (grin), but others would
benefit), and we plan a follow-up webinar about the methodology and go
into detail on others. The Roundup is maintained and can be found at:


We are starting to maintain short videos that show the various Reading Apps
with specific AT so people can pick what works for them. I did a Thorium and
NVDA, for example. We have Thorium with visual adjustments (low vision), and
Read Aloud (Dyslexic and LD). We need to do a ton more.

We also have the EPUB in Higher Ed working group (let me know if anybody
wants to join), which is getting stronger and producing more materials to
support the DSO folks. We really need to get the students to use the
mainstream tech. Kurzweil says that support for EPUB is their current
highest priority, which is great, and we all cannot wait to see what they
have done. Text Help already has their updated EPUB reader out.



From: athen-list <athen-list-bounces at mailman12.u.washington.edu> On Behalf
Of Deborah Armstrong
Sent: Wednesday, April 21, 2021 12:14 PM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: [Athen] Publishers platforms and AT

I ask this every quarter, but have their been any new developments in
tracking which AT works with which publisher-supplied ebook platforms?

I am taking a class that uses a book that is available as an ebook on
VitalSource. I really like that platform for myself, but so so many of my
students complain about VitalSource, or Redshelf or the many other ebook
platforms that are publisher-specific. Pearson, Cengage, Wiley, McGrawHill
and McMillan all offer ebooks integrated with online labs or available on
their own platform when the student makes a purchase.

When the publisher refuses to provide me a book, because it's already online
and supposedly accessible, I can ask the student what AT they use, but it
still leaves me unclear whether the problem is the AT, the platform or the
student's inability or unwillingness to learn to use the platform.

I could really use some real data - I know there was a daisy webinar about
it just this morning which I'll watch - but if I know for example that a
particular Wiley book works fine with Kurzweil's read the web, then I can
just encourage the student to get more training which we have available. But
if I know it doesn't work, then I can start arguing with the publisher.


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