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EPUB 3 and accessibility for ebooks

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From: Karen Mardahl
Date: Nov 22, 2011 1:48PM


Yesterday, as @stcaccess, I tweeted an article from O'Reilly Radar
called "Why we needed EPUB 3: New reading devices, multimedia
storytelling and accessibility needs made EPUB 3 a necessity."

The article is at
http://radar.oreilly.com/2011/11/epub3-multimedia-devices-accessibility.html

I received a few comments on Twitter where 140 characters simply
wasn't enough, so I came here.

1. Does anyone know whether EPUB 3 will be *the* format for publishing
accessible ebooks? My impression from a forgotten article is yes -
that this format will render DAISY obsolete. (Or will it?)

2. How well *is* EPUB 3 doing on accessibility? I get the impression
exciting things will happen with math markup.

3. What exactly is the relationship between EPUB 3 and HTML5: is EPUB
3 waiting on HTML5 for anythig or is it just going ahead with what's
available now?

Of course, even if EPUB 3 is perfect, a manufacturer can implement it
poorly or close down some part. (Here I'm thinking about Amazon
turning off the text-to-speech service on one of the Kindles to please
some publishers.)

I don't have an ebook reader. (I can't afford another gadget, and I
have enough paper books and audio books demanding my attention!) I am
also put off by the number of devices available. They give me a
Betamax versus VHS feeling. "What if I buy the version that is a
dinosaur in 1 year?" I have a naive hope that at some point the
manufacturers could agree on a standard, at least.

I'm curious to hear what other people think and know on this subject.

regards, Karen Mardahl