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Accessibility of ebook devices
& digital documents
Abi James & EA Draffan
University of Southampton
B.D.A. New Technologie...
Why are ebooks helpful to
dyslexic readers?
• Recent studies suggest that for dyslexic readers:
– Allowing reader to selec...
What is an accessible
ebook? Users can….
• Alter font size, style, spacing and justification
• Alter font and background c...
What is an accessible ebook?
Accessible
e-book
hardware
operating
system
App /
software
Distributor
/ shop
Publisher
conte...
Devices &
apps
e-Book platform
accessibility: the
JISC TechDis
bridge model.
Content
variations
Matrix approach
to aid decisions
• Multiple factors need to be considered
before committing to particular platform or
devi...
Case study – I have to study
Romeo & Juliet…..
• Tested Romeo & Juliet in:
– PDF format
– Kindle format
– Generic ebook fo...
Case Study Results
• Scores ranged from 100% to 21%
• Top scoring app: 100% Voice Dream on iPad or iPhone for
all book for...
0.0%
10.0%
20.0%
30.0%
40.0%
50.0%
60.0%
70.0%
80.0%
90.0%
100.0%
Ebook accessibility rating:
blue iOS apps, red Android a...
Recommendations
• Marketplace – app – device – content are all inter-
dependent
• Although some Android apps scored highly...
Keep watching this space….
“To be blunt, I don't think there is any "great" solution
right now for online textbook sources...
Accessibility of ebook devices & digital documents
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Accessibility of ebook devices & digital documents

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Presented at the British Dyslexia Association International Conference 2014.
Not all that is digital in the realms of online documentation and ebooks is accessible for those who wish to read using text to speech, text highlighting or different coloured backgrounds. This paper will explore the issues related to the accessibility of e-book formats, e-book libraries and the devices that carry the e-books. A matrix system will be illustrated to show how e-book reading apps and devices can be differentiated and the way they can be configured to suit individual preferences. Recent research has highlighted the pros and cons of e-books, where the technology can fail but also where in a positive way e-reading can engage some struggling readers. Totally accessible e-reading on any device for those struggling with paper based materials, remains an unfulfilled wish. This paper aims to support the idea of a framework for making choices to guide learners and those that support.

Published in: Education
  • The last slide is missing but this was just to say thank you to Neil Rogers for his help with the testing and also to provide our project website address at https://access.ecs.soton.ac.uk/
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Accessibility of ebook devices & digital documents

  1. 1. Accessibility of ebook devices & digital documents Abi James & EA Draffan University of Southampton B.D.A. New Technologies Committee
  2. 2. Why are ebooks helpful to dyslexic readers? • Recent studies suggest that for dyslexic readers: – Allowing reader to select the font, size and colour can improve reading accuracy (Petrie et al, 2005) – Reading shorter lines of text on a small screen can improve reading speed (Schneps et al, 2013) – Hearing and seeing the text in a synchronised manner can improve reading speed, accuracy and comprehension (Stodden et al, 2012) • These personalisations can be provided through ebooks if they are accessible and customisable
  3. 3. What is an accessible ebook? Users can…. • Alter font size, style, spacing and justification • Alter font and background colour • Text can be read aloud – User can select different voices and speed • Annotate the text – Search – Notes & bookmarks – Dictionary Based on Web2Access (http://web2access.org.uk/)
  4. 4. What is an accessible ebook? Accessible e-book hardware operating system App / software Distributor / shop Publisher content of the book
  5. 5. Devices & apps
  6. 6. e-Book platform accessibility: the JISC TechDis bridge model.
  7. 7. Content variations
  8. 8. Matrix approach to aid decisions • Multiple factors need to be considered before committing to particular platform or device. • Adapting Web2Access matrix approach to quantify ebook accessibility. • Allows a score for device-app-content combination
  9. 9. Case study – I have to study Romeo & Juliet….. • Tested Romeo & Juliet in: – PDF format – Kindle format – Generic ebook format with no copy restrictions • 7 devices • 10 apps on Android • 4 apps on iPad and iPhone • 4 ebook readers on Windows • 2 Kindle devices
  10. 10. Case Study Results • Scores ranged from 100% to 21% • Top scoring app: 100% Voice Dream on iPad or iPhone for all book formats • Tests that scored 75%+ – ebooks on iBooks on iPad or iPhone – Kindle books on iPad or iPhone (but low scores on other platforms) – ebooks and text documents with Cool Reader (Android) – ebooks with Blio on iPad and iPhone
  11. 11. 0.0% 10.0% 20.0% 30.0% 40.0% 50.0% 60.0% 70.0% 80.0% 90.0% 100.0% Ebook accessibility rating: blue iOS apps, red Android apps, green Kindle device, grey Windows apps
  12. 12. Recommendations • Marketplace – app – device – content are all inter- dependent • Although some Android apps scored highly it took considerable effort to ensure all accessibility option works – TTS support was intermittent even within apps – Android OS and device variations add additional complications • Books in the same app could have varying degrees of accessibility depending on the platform. • Consider before you purchase!
  13. 13. Keep watching this space…. “To be blunt, I don't think there is any "great" solution right now for online textbook sources as you have limitations with all of them.” Sean Keegan, Stanford University ATHEN Email Forum, 26th March 2014

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