Reading System Tests

It is important that individuals and organizations can choose the reading systems that offer the accessibility features they need. These features will vary between individuals, but include support for a screen reader, ability to change the visual presentation of the contents, read aloud feature, feature to enlarge images and so on.The DAISY Consortium partners with other industry organizations to test reading systems for EPUB 3 conformance and accessibility.

Digital books are accessed using a reading app, which is used to open, read and navigate the content. For someone who requires accessibility features, the app may be used together with the assistive features provided through the device’s built in software, or with a third-party product like a screen reader or dyslexia support tool.

The most recent results of reading system testing can be read on our test results page. Results were accurate at the time of publication but may not reflect all personal experiences which can be affected by the version of the reading systems, assistive technologies or the publication being read. Apps change all the time, and developers improve the features based on the feedback from our tests. You can always read the latest reviews at: http://epubtest.org/testsuite/accessibility/

Testing Methodology

Using the protocol published at epubtest.org, apps are evaluated using a structured framework. This accessibility testing protocol has been developed in collaboration with people with reading disabilities, accessibility experts, and reading system developers. It is an open effort, with the test process described on the website, and more than 50 volunteer testers with different reading disabilities collaborate in the testing effort.

The basic assumption of the approach is that apps should support reading by eyes, ears or fingers. It should be possible for users to read the content by:

  • adjusting the display such as adjusting font size and colour combination,
  • reading the text with a screen reader or integrated read aloud feature, and
  • reading the text on a refreshable Braille display.

The apps are evaluated using different combinations, with and without assistive technology. All reading apps are tested using the same standardized test titles, to ensure consistency. The test files are available from http://www.epubtest.org/testsuite/

The evaluation protocol is free to use, and anyone can evaluate a reading system. If you are an app developer you can ask us to look at your app, and we will report the results back to you.

The latest detailed results for the apps in this round up, and many more, are available at http://www.epubtest.org/testsuite/accessibility/

Get Involved

Anyone can evaluate a reading system. If you are an app developer you can ask us to look at your app, and we will report the results back to you. If you want to evaluate the accessibility of reading systems, please contact Amaya Webster. Describe the applications you can test and the assistive technology you use.

See also: Accessible Reading Solutions from Mainstream Publishers – CSUN 2017 Presentation.

Test suite documents and instructions for evaluators are posted to epubtest.org.

Additional information: