The EPUB Reading Experience
The EPUB 3 format is widely acknowledged as offering the greatest opportunity for mainstream accessibility requirements—i.e. it delivers the possibility of offering ebooks to print impaired readers at the same time, in the same format and at the same price as everyone else. This is a far cry from specialist formats specifically produced for print disabled readers and it offers the reader the opportunity of having the same or very similar experience to a non-disabled reader.
You may not be aware but EPUB files sit behind most ereading platforms and you can expect a basic range of accessibility features from even the most simple EPUB files. In addition, EPUB can be read on most ereading devices and you will find the ereading apps accessibility review very useful if you unsure of your choices.
Some EPUBs have been developed to include a more sophisticated range of accessibility features and we hope that discoverability of these titles will be made easier in the future by more detailed and specific accessibility metadata. Features include:
- detailed structural markup
- the ability to include prerecorded speech synchronised with the text (called media overlays) and accessible video
- mathematical and technical content (via MathML)
Consumers should request access to EPUB 3 files wherever possible if you are enquiring about accessible content. Other formats which you may be more used to asking for do not deliver the same level of accessibility features as an EPUB file and you will be pleasantly surprised by the experience that a fully accessible EPUB file can offer.