Accessible EPUB 3
Best Practices for Creating Universally Usable Content
Publisher: O'Reilly Media / Tools of Change
Final Release Date: February 2012
Pages: 94

Although the digital revolution has made content available to more people than print books ever could, ebooks are still only as accessible as the foundation they’re built on—and all too often the foundation is weak. But that’s changing. With the introduction of EPUB 3, publishers now have the means to create a single rich data source for audiences of all reading abilities.

Through practical tips and examples, Accessible EPUB 3 takes you inside the EPUB 3 format and explores how you can enrich and enhance content for all readers. Author Matt Garrish demystifies the process of making content easier to access, demonstrating how accessible practices are intertwined with standard content best practices.

Among many techniques, this guide will teach you how to:

  • Add structure and meaning to your publications to make them more usable by accessible technologies
  • Tailor EPUB Navigation Documents for readers requiring either full or reduced navigation
  • Create media overlays to synchronize human narration with text display
  • Improve text-to-speech playback by adding SSML, PLS lexicons, and CSS3 Speech functionality
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oreillyAccessible EPUB 3
 
3.8

(based on 4 reviews)

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100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Accurate (3)
  • Helpful examples (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate (3)

    Reviewed by 4 customers

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    4.0

    Required Reading List

    By Jay

    from New York, NY

    About Me Designer, Maker

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Accurate
    • Concise
    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples
    • Well-written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Expert
      • Intermediate

      Comments about oreilly Accessible EPUB 3:

      The subtitle says it all

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      3.0

      Not enough for Visual readers

      By Enzo

      from germany

      About Me Educator

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • First dtep
      • Helpful examples

      Cons

      • Need of blind users only
      • Not comprehensive enough

      Best Uses

      • Intermediate

      Comments about oreilly Accessible EPUB 3:

      Sorry, this is the "old" story. Needs of blind users are in the center of interes.
      Much more People are visually impaired, but visual resders. Layout metters, enlarging texts - often text is corruptet. Further buttoms for operating are not enlargeable. The hole concept does very seldom cope with the needs of people reading visual, but visual impaired.
      There should an examination that at every size of text it remains readible. Often headers fill the whole page and defined colums let only some characters per line.
      And besides, typing this text on ipad, text is only 3mm large nearly not accessible for visual users. I have to use Zoom for reading and normal view for typing.

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Essential knowledge for EVERY publisher

      By Thad McIlroy

      from San Francisco, CA

      About Me Analyst, Educator

      Pros

      • Accurate
      • Easy to understand
      • Helpful examples
      • Well-written

      Cons

      • A complex subject

      Best Uses

      • Expert
      • Intermediate

      Comments about oreilly Accessible EPUB 3:

      One of the triumphs of EPUB 3 is that it now makes it realistically practical for every publisher to make their ebooks accessible to readers with disabilities as part of a regular ebook creation workflow.

      Matt Garrish hints at something I'd like to make explicit: ebooks that are built for accessibility are well-made ebooks: more likely to delight ALL of your customers because of their thoughtful and careful construction.

      Garrish is not only a master of the technology, he's also a very good technical writer. And of course O'Reilly is the best publisher of this type of how-to book, so the editing and design are first-rate.

      And, remarkably, it's free of charge.

      Please: download, read it, ponder and then plan. You can't change your workflow overnight, but this book will offer lots of help to steer you in the right direction.

      (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Good content about a new standard

      By Jim Schubert

      from Richmond, VA

      About Me Software Engineer

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Accurate
      • Concise

      Cons

      • "however"

      Best Uses

      • Novice
      • Student

      Comments about oreilly Accessible EPUB 3:

      I reviewed Accessible EPUB 3 as part of the O'Reilly Blogger program. This book is actually an excerpt from the upcoming EPUB 3 Best Practices.

      The content of this excerpt is undeniably rich. The first 25 pages or so may be 'review' material if you're already pretty familiar with HTML5. If so, skim these pages for the EPUB-specific additions.

      Knowing very little about the changes in EPUB 3, I was very intrigued by the audio and video capabilities that mirror those of HTML5. I would have liked to see more discussion about the support of these elements in readers on the market. There were a few places where the author warned about new features not being fully available in many readers, but the lack of statistics made me wonder if this is merely speculation or if any readers currently support the new features.

      I thought the Text-to-Speech section was very informative. The concept of having a lexicon as a pronunciation index coupled with inline SSML will make EPUB 3 very usable on readers. I sometimes turn on a screen reader just to see how elements are read aloud, laughing at mispronounced words or phrases. If authors and publishers put in the effort to add these features of EPUB 3, text-to-speech engines will make only a fraction of the pronunciation mistakes.

      I would have given this excerpt five stars, but the language was occasionally difficult to read. For instance, the author really enjoys ending sentences with "however" as if it is a filler word. After encountering this a few times, I ended up reading over sentences (sometimes spanning 2-3 lines of a paragraph) and replacing the ending "however" with synonyms to see if it made sense. Mostly, it didn't. I think this really detracted from the overall content, because I found myself retracing so much text to understand how the disjointed conjunctive adverb made sense that the content ended up feeling choppy.

      Since the end result is still in production, I would imagine this text has already gone through a few rounds of editing.

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