[nabs-l] E-book Accessibility

Marc Workman mworkman.lists at gmail.com
Sun Jun 17 16:12:22 UTC 2012

An important factor is whether the book includes digital rights management (DRM). I have a Mac app called bookle that allows one to read unprotected EPUB files, and I can simply copy and paste into a word processor if I prefer to read it that way. I assume something similar exists for Windows, but I'm less familiar with that platform now.

Apple's iBooks app on IOS will allow you to read EPUB as well. I don't actually know if it allows you to read protected files or only unprotected ones. My guess is some protected but not all; that's only a guess though.

I've also heard of people successfully using Kobo and Stanza on IOS, though I don't have personal experience with these apps.

If the file has DRM, you will have a harder time accessing it. It is possible to strip DRM, and in Canada at least, this is legal if your purpose is to create an accessible copy for a person with a perceptual disability, but I haven't had to do this, so I don't know what tools you would need and whether they are accessible.


On 2012-06-16, at 10:43 PM, Arielle Silverman wrote:

> Hi all,
> After several years of graduate seminar courses that didn't have
> textbooks, I am needing to take one more course this fall (a
> statistics course) that does have an assigned textbook. The textbook
> is not available in any of my usual databases (not surprising since
> it's math) so I requested it from Bookshare, but would like to have a
> backup option in case Bookshare isn't able to get it done by August. I
> looked on the publisher's website and found that the book is available
> for purchase as an E-book in "Epub" format. Apparently the book can be
> read on a PC using "Adobe Digital Editions" or on a mobile device
> using specific third-party apps such as "TXTR". The last time I tried
> to do this, back in 2007, I couldn't find an accessible way to read a
> mainstream E-book, but I know it's been five years and perhaps we've
> made some progress in this area? Anyway, do any of you have experience
> reading EPub files or used Adobe Digital Editions? Is Adobe Digital
> Editions accessible or if not, is it possible to convert an EPub file
> to text using a converter like RoboBraille? Also, has anyone
> successfully used any of the mainstream iPhone apps for E-books?
> Thanks for your help,
> Arielle
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