Fundamentals of EPUB Reading App Accessibility Testing

The home page shows a photo of a person reading a text in the Kobo e-reader. The photo focuses on the e-reader. Scrolling down the page shows a screenshot of accessibility testing screen of Google play books app. A dialogue box at the top-right corner of the screen lists the following options: Add bookmark, Stop reading aloud, Settings, Help, and feedback.
Google Play Books app in read-aloud mode

The Crowd behind the Testing

We have a two-tiered method for recruiting testers. A core set of experts, including persons with disabilities, drive the development of the test titles and maintain the website and the results.  Most of these people have in their job description a work item to do work with accessibility testing at epubtest.org. Some come from publishing houses or reading system companies. Some are accessibility consultants who are hired by tech companies to test specific reading apps, and these folks often team up with volunteers to confirm their results are accurate. Some of the testers come from the education sector and are skilled with a wide range of AT used on their campus. Most people come from DAISY Consortium member organizations.

We have a second tier of crowd source volunteers. We started this in early 2018 and have been thrilled with the response. We now have more than 70 people signed up who contribute to the published results and we expect the number to increase. For those who love reading, a lot of tips and tricks to have a better reading experience with specific reading app and AT combinations are shared in this group.

We know that apps change frequently, and so does the AT. This usually results in better scores, but sometimes a change to the operating system, reading app, or AT makes things worse. The number of permutations that one can have is staggering, and this is why we love our crowd of testers.

What Happens in January 2019?

When we replace the old “Fundamental Accessible Reading System Tests” with the new one, the results on epubtest.org will change. Because there are new tests, the scores will change, and the site will show that the test needs updating. The last time we did this, the developers freaked out because they want to show off the accessibility work they had done. This time, we gave them advanced warning that a new title was coming out. We also plan to really “hit it” with the testing and update all the current apps ASAP. I certainly hope that by the end of January we will have most of the testing completed.

Resources

EPUB Test website: http://www.epubtest.org

You can get the new test title from the test suite and you can also see the accessibility test grid.

Inclusive Publishing website: http://www.inclusivepublishing.org

You can get the Reading App Roundup there with specific recommendations. This is a great website that should be in your permanent bookmarks.

For questions or to contact us, please write to:

John Purcell, Executive Editor- Amnet
john.purcell@amnet-systems.com

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