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Re: EPUB 3 and accessibility for ebooks


From: Andrews, David B (DEED)
Date: Nov 22, 2011 2:00PM

As I understand it, -- and I could be wrong, or at least slightly off, the DAISY standard and the ePub standard have been on a path to come together at some point in the future. As I understand it, there are now many similarities, and as I understand it, the plan is to have the ePub standard become the standard used by everybody to produce text-based e-books, and the current Z39-86 DAISY3 standard will primarily be used for audio-based e-books. Now quite sure how true multi-media books will be handled, but there is probably stuff in both versions that would allow it.


-----Original Message-----
From: <EMAIL REMOVED> [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Karen Mardahl
Sent: Tuesday, November 22, 2011 2:50 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: [WebAIM] EPUB 3 and accessibility for ebooks

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

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.