Help us Create the Greatest Reading Experience for All Persons with Disabilities!
What we are Doing
Together we can use our eyes, ears, and fingers to test a wide range of EPUB Reading Apps and online readers. We are asking users of Assistive Technology (AT) and people who use other techniques for reading to help us test systems to make sure a great reading experience can be had by all. In technical circles, the term “Reading System” is used to identify the complete range of devices and software used to present ebooks to end users. This testing will include that full range including dedicated devices used by persons who are blind. Some of these have only a refreshable braille screen, and these are indeed in scope. We work with the Reading App developers and they make changes in their apps based on the feedback we provide.
- Persons who are blind normally use a screen reader, perhaps in combination with refreshable braille or screen enlargement; we want you!
- Persons with dyslexia or other learning differences may use some mechanism for voicing text or they may use the built-in read aloud function; we want you!
- Persons with low vision may use screen enlargement software or they may increase the fonts and adjust foreground and background colors; we want you too!
EPUB Reading Apps are Everywhere
Most people do not know much about EPUB Reading Apps , but you will be pleased to learn that Apple’s iBooks, Google’s Playbooks, VitalSource’s Bookshelf, Kobo’s eReader, Microsoft’s Edge, and many, many, many others use the EPUB format. Amazon’s Kindle will also be tested, because publishers provide EPUB to the Kindle store for sale, and our friends at Amazon are delighted when they get a reflowable EPUB to put in their store.
Those of you who use products like Voice Dream Reader, Dolphin’s EasyReader, TextHelp, Kurzweil 3000, Victor Readers, and many, many more also take in EPUB and their products need to be tested as well.
Why Crowd Source Testing?
With all the diversity among us, and all the Assistive Technology out there, and all the combinations of hardware and software, and all the different ways to read an EPUB, the number of possible combinations are staggering, but you only need to pick one! We already know how to use Assistive technology (or you would not be here right now, grin). You may already be using a reading App, and we are happy to have you test it. Perhaps you do not have a favorite ebook app yet and will pick from the many that are out there or you will introduce yet another EPUB reader to us.
What is Involved and How Much Time?
Before we answer that question, the time you spend testing will definitely go toward creating a better reading experience that you will be able to enjoy forever. In addition, we suspect that you will become knowledgeable (perhaps even an expert) and that knowledge will benefit you as you select reading Apps and books of various formats that you will read for decades to come. That being said:
- Volunteer Reading App testers, that’s you, will start by emailing one of our moderators for the platform you will be testing. The Platforms are: Windows, Mac, iPhone and iPad, Android phones and tablets, Google ChromeBooks, and Kindle, and more may come.
- The moderator will get you signed up with a Volunteer Reading App Tester account on http://www.epubtest.org
- You can pick the reading App you want to test. It may be that somebody has already tested a reading App with the exact AT you use, which is fine, you would confirm that all is correct in the evaluation. Otherwise you will create a new evaluation of a reading App along with the AT you use; Volunteer Reading App testers with low vision or dyslexia may not use separate Assistive Technology, which is fine; many reading Apps now have the ability to increase the font size and adjust foreground and background colors; many Apps also provide read aloud functions within the App, eliminating the need to use an add-on.
- Next you download the fundamental Accessibility EPUB and load it it in to your reading Your moderator can help you with sideloading, i.e. opening an unprotected EPUB in a reading App. Some reading systems have the Fundamental Accessibility EPUB already in their bookstore and you can get it at no cost.
- The Fundamental Accessibility EPUB is a perfect EPUB, you can be assured that there are no errors, so you are only testing the reading App with the AT you use. The tests are self explanatory, e.g. “Make sure you can move to next and previous headings without using the table of contents. Indicate pass or fail.”
- Once you have run through the 15 to 25 tests with your AT, you can login to the site and complete the form for your Platform, Reading App , and AT.
- Best guess on time is one hour for the first time you do this. Subsequent tests will take much less time.
Are you Ready to Change the World and How We Read?
Hopefully you have a fairly good idea of what you will be signing up for. The next page starts the process off, allowing you to securely provide just a few pieces of information so that we can help get you testing.