Reading EPUB with Dyslexia and Learning Disabilities- ATN webinar series

Reading EPUB with Dyslexia and Learning Disabilities- ATN webinar series

>>Dawn: Hi, everyone. Welcome to today’s webinar. My name is Dawn Evans. I’m the coordinator of the AccessText network. I’m so glad you could set aside time to join us. I think today’s webinar on reading EPUB with dyslexia and learning disabilities is going to be fabulous and full of great information. On to the house keeping. There is live captioning available. Just click on the CC at the bottom. The closed caption logo. If you need to enlarge the captioning box, you can do so by clicking on the upward arrow of the top of the box. Today will be a 40 minute session and 20 minutes for questions. We may shake that up a little bit. We will throw in a couple of your questions after each demo. So that we don’t — I think that will be helpful. You may have questions that need to be answered in that moment. So please submit questions by using the Q&A icon at the bottom of the zoom screen. Everyone should be able to see each other’s questions and any typed answers. And right here we have a link to take you to AccessText Wiki page where we’re setting up EPUB resources and information on all up coming webinars including the registration links. We post the PowerPoints as soon as we have them finalized and the videos as soon as we have our hands on those. So you can go to for all that good information. One last thing before we get started. Next week’s webinar is going to be on reading EPUB with screen readers. I will e-mail that link today. You can get it on the above link as well. If you have any trouble seeing the bottom of your zoom screen, just click on view options in the top middle of ratio. your zoom screen to change your zoom All right. With that said, I’m going to hand it over to our presenter Joseph Polizzotto and let him introduce himself and also Richard Orme with DAISY. He may pop in with comments or questions. I will hand it over to you two guys. Thank you.>>Joseph: Hi, everyone. I’m Joseph Polizzotto I’m the alternate media supervisor at UC Berkeley. We’re going to explore how students with dyslexia with read EPUB.>>Richard: I’m Richard Orme I’m from the DAISY consortium and I’ll be supporting Joseph with helpful comments and questions as we go through. I will also do a couple of the demonstrations.>>Joseph: As you know, the student — the category of students with learning disabilities occupies the greatest statistical category of students who are currently served in disability services offices in higher ed. A recent statistic that I found showed that there are about 200,000 students with a specific learning disability who are served in higher ed. Some of the challenges that students in this category can face while reading text involve processing text, decoding letters and sounds of words, learning new vocabulary, organizing the information that they find in reading, recalling what they have read, staying focused while reading. And as this whole webinar series is intended to do, we’re going to be focusing on what specifically the EPUB format offers students. In this webinar as we mentioned, we’re going to focus on students with learning disabilities and how they benefit from the EPUB format. The EPUB format can be of great benefit for these students because first of all, the EPUB is the standard digital format for textbooks. There are some cases where students prefer to have the ability to navigate the whole book, rather than individual files of a book say broken up into chapters. So that can provide a benefit. Another benefit would be that some students will want to use the EPUB on a variety of platforms. Nowadays there are a variety of reading systems that support EPUB and we’ll be looking at some of them. Finally, another advantage is that since it’s based upon the web technologies as outlines by the W3C, there’s a lot of ways in which an EPUB book can become more interactive for students than their typically used to. Say, zooming in on an image that is renders as SVG or using the rich hyperlinks to jump to a page or footnote. These are very beneficial for our students. Now, with this transition to EPUB, our students with learning disabilities need to be aware of how to access them using the common reading systems that they’re used to. Many students will typically use specialized formats like Kurzweil. Many use PDF. EPUB is a new comer on the block when it comes to serving students with learning disabilities. So we need to focus on how these students can focus on what they’re used to doing. So navigate, search text, how to use text-to-speech or read aloud, how to focus on vocabulary, look up the words in the dictionary, how to highlight passages, how to review the content that they have annotated or highlighted. One of the common themes that will come up in conversations around EPUB is how well does the EPUB reading system support navigation to page numbers? If there’s a print equivalent of the EPUB book, some EPUBs will have the print page numbers embedded in them. And for students this can be a great functionality since it enables them to stay on the same page as other students in the class. So we mention a few EPUB systems that we are aware of that support page navigation. VitalSource, MS Edge and Dolphin EasyReader. Richard, did you want to mention others?>>Richard: There are others like Digital Editions from Adobe and Redshelf that supports page navigation. You will find EPUB that don’t have print navigation in them. This could be older EPUBs and the publisher didn’t have the technology at that time. It may be that the publication may be there isn’t a print equivalent. We know that’s an important feature and publishers are putting it in by default.>>Joseph: Another important feature of EPUB that’s worth remembering when working with students with learning disabilities is there might be multiple disabilities that students have or sometimes students with a reading impairment might want to make visual adjustments. Like being able to change the text size, character spacing of the letters, adjust the spacing between lines can help with tracking, paying attention to the lines. Many EPUB systems support this sort of functionality. For instance, voice dream reader and Dolphin EasyReader. As an alternate media specialist myself I’m always keeping abreast of what the levels. various systems offer on a number of With the kind of reading system features that my students are interested in, I want to know which reading system supports this or that feature. For instance, on this slide I’m showing a grid that has 8 of the reading systems that we’ll be looking at today as popular reading systems . We have a row on the top that just shows some of the reading systems features that are helpful for students with learning disabilities. A green check mark indicates there’s a level of support for that feature. An X indicates there currently isn’t support. For example, if we look at one column — second column EPUB page navigation we have shown here 3 reading systems that support that. Microsoft Edge, VitalSource and Dolphin EasyReader. When analyzing the reading systems check out the BISG support grid that is being compiled and worked on by the reading systems work group. Richard, would you like to say something about that?>>Richard: The reading system working group is looking at reading apps and we evaluate each of the apps using protocol that is been developed together with people with reading disabilities and we look to see features such as these on the page are supported by the reading systems. We’re able to put information up against each of the reading apps and make that available to you. There’s a simplified round up of it. We engage with the developers of the different reading apps and they’re improving their apps to make sure these missing features are improved.>>Joseph: Okay. I’d like to single out one of the reading systems that’s essentially popular in higher ed and that’s Kurzweil 3000. Students are using one of the versions of Kurzweil to access their files. I’m happy to say that Kurzweil does support the opening of EPUBs in its PC version and also in the web license version or also known as the universal library. Students on a mobile device and have access to the web license of Kurzweil can access their account via the browser. When they do so in the universal library, an EPUB can be opened just as an EPUB and there is support for highlighting, navigation, dictionary look up, note taking and extracting notes to highlights. So many of the features our students are interested in are available now when the students use the universal library. If you have students that do not have a web license of Kurzweil and are using a PC and want to access EPUB, they can open the EPUB in the PC version and it supports read aloud, text reflow, changing the background color. To do things like highlighting and annotation and extracting to a study guide, alternative media specialist would want to save as a [inaudible] file and share the KES file with their students. When saving as a KES file, they may decide to separate the EPUB into separate chapter KES files. We recommend to use the universal library to deliver your EPUB to students as that is the version of Kurzweil that supports the more common features of Kurzweil that students are used to like highlighting and note taking. When necessary if you don’t have a web license, serve as a KES file. With that I would like to transition and give you a demonstration of some of the reading systems that we’ve mentioned. We’re going to start with Kurzweil.>>[Demo o.]>>Joseph: Okay. So that was a demonstration of the Kurzweil 3 web license version. When accessing an EPUB when accessing an EPUB.>>Richard: I’ve been using that with a variety of EPUB. From Bookshare and publishers from a lots of different places. While you don’t have some of the benefits of EPUB such as the reflow and the ability to customize the font, I found that the features of Kurzweil that you were demonstrating are working very reliably.>>Joseph: Right. I think it’s worth keeping in mind as Richard mentioned earlier. With some of the features that EPUB offers specifically like a neat feature like reflow, a lot of the demonstrations that we’re going to be showing you currently stand as what the — what is available at the current time. I would expect within the next year that you may find there will be differences to how EPUB plays in different reading systems. Yes, I agree. It certainly for a student who needs to have access to the text and have read aloud and use the reading systems features that they’re using to for Kurzweil web license this is offered.>>Dawn: Does Kurzweil retain the alternative text descriptions when you pull in an EPUB that has alternative text descriptions?>>Joseph: In my experience, no it does not. That is something that you want to look at in how you could provide that for the student. I would recommend perhaps one of the other reading systems for the moment.>>Richard: That’s my experience as well. You mentioned the EPUB reading systems are in development and we’re having good discussions with Kurzweil around issues like that. I expect that is something that could change soon.>>Dawn: Thank you. That’s all the Kurzweil questions for now.>>Joseph: I would like to transition and talk about another reading systems and scan and read program called read&write. The DSO will offer Read&Write. They have a Chrome extension that allows students to open up an EPUB in the Chrome browser. We’re going to demonstrate that now.>>So there’s a demo for the Read&Write reader.>>Dawn: Do you know what does it cost per student?>>Joseph: That is something that maybe we can share after the webinar. I’m currently not familiar with what their pricing structure is. It’s my understanding that regardless of which license you purchase, you get all of the the programs as a bundle. So you’re able to access the Google Chrome extension for Read&Write which includes the PDF reader . I can get back to you about the price.>>Dawn: Someone chimed in does Read&Write gold support EPUB? That’s what you were demonstrating. Somebody is curious does your particular college use Kurzweil or Read&Write?>>Joseph: Our campus uses Kurzweil 3000. That’s the format we use most often for our students with learning disabilities. We are aware of the nice features that Read&Write for Google chrome offers. It’s a nice option. If they don’t have a text help license, the read aloud features is available whether you have a license or not. So if they’re using Google docs a lot, we might show them how to use the Read&Write extension.>>Dawn: Thank you.>>Richard: I think that Read&Write for educational staff there’s a license that allow you to try the features for free. You go on their website and apply for that.>>Joseph: That’s right. So as educators and specialist who work in a disability service office, we are entitled to an educator’s license of Read&Write. That would allow you the ability to download and install it and try out the rich features. With that I would like to transition now and talk about another reading system that is popular for opening up EPUB and that’s the Mac OS platform . Okay . So with the Books app there’s a lot of the features that we talked about already like highlighting and annotation and select all the notes and highlights that you have made in the notes panel and export them or copy them to the notes app. One of the features that I hear many of our students saying they would like to see improved in the books app is what I demonstrated at the end which is the speak screen feature. They will mention that they would like to see the text highlighted as it is being read out loud. So another option for that would be to potentially have students who have an MP3 version of the EPUB file — well it’s not going to solve that exact problem of having the text highlighted but they can have the MP3 file playing or if they wanted text highlighting use a different reading systems. So this is where it’s important to understand the various features come into play. Students that don’t need read aloud but would like highlighting and annotation might find the Mac OS fine. Richard, would you like to make any comments about that ? Okay. I did also –>>Dawn: So, I don’t have iBook specific questions. Would you mind going down the list of 8 demos and mention which is free?>>Joseph: The free apps are books, VitalSource, Bookshelf is the platform that works with the VitalSource delivered content but students who don’t — who haven’t purchased a VitalSource book can download the Bookshelf app for free and create an account. Bookshelf allows you to side load and use some of the features like read aloud. The rich features that VitalSource offers like highlighting and annotation are only available when students have purchased the EPUB via VitalSource’s website. It is a free app. The next free app is Microsoft Edge which is the default EPUB reading system on the PC. Capti voice has a free version. That allows you to open up EPUBs and use read aloud but to be able to see the images in the EPUB and highlight and annotation in Capti voice you need the premium version. Dolphin EasyReader is also free. That’s on both iOS and Android i voice you need the premium version. Dolphin Easy Reader is also free. That’s on both iOS and android.>>Richard: Since you mentioned the operating system, Books is available not only for macOS but also for iOS. For VitalSource there is Mac OS and Windows, iOS and Android Dolphin Easy Reader is Android and iOS. So the references to the platforms here these are the ones we have done the demos but the availability is a bit broader.>>Joseph: Yes. So next we’re going to be demonstrating the Mac OS version of VitalSource Bookshelf which also exists on the PC and also on iOS device, iPhone or iPad and Android . Okay. So that is VitalSource for bookshelf Mac OS version.>>Dawn: Joseph, can you change the speed for reading the text in VitalSource?>>Joseph: Yes. There is a — you go to the system preferences menu which is built into the Mac. When you’re in the system preferences menu and accessibility menu, there’s a speech menu to adjust the voice and reading speed.>>Richard: The ability to customize how the voice is reading out the book will vary between apps. Some of them you have to go into the operating system to change the voice, the speed, the pitch. Others it’s right there within the app and is easy to adjust. Sometimes you can even adjust while it’s reading.>>Joseph: Correct. I wanted to also point out that with particularly the VitalSource Bookshelf app and the Capti voice, these apps can open up in the browser. You can see all the voices that you have available in the operating system already installed which makes it really nice. If you have a high quality text-to-speech voice that you downloaded, you can use it. So it gives you more flexibility . Now I would like to transition to a demonstration of VoiceDream Reader which is a popular mobile reading app. It exists on the iOS and android platforms. Today we’re going to be giving a demonstration of the iOS version. Okay. As you can see, we have three more reading system apps that we have demonstrations for. We would love for you to be able to see those and review those and how they can benefit your students. If you would like to review them later, go to the link at the bottom of the slide. We have a YouTube channel . Before we wrap up, we would like to mention a few of the things — a few of the challenges that are currently — that currently exist for EPUB adoption. Some of those are things like the ability for EPUB reading systems to support mathematical content. At the present time there isn’t a reading systems that we can recommend that supports the reading of mathematics out loud for students with learning disabilities. So if you are in touch with an app developer, we recommend that you would talk up the need for students with learning disabilities to access mathematical content. Another thing that we mentioned already is some reading systems don’t support page navigation. This is a feature that our students really want to be able to stay on the same page as their peers. And then for another thing it’s great if we can create EPUB’s ourselves if we have students that need EPUB but we have a different format. So some of our students who want an EPUB may need for us to create one. If you would like more training about how to create EPUB’s you can look out for the list of sessions that will be available eventually at Accessing Higher Ground. Finally, we would like to wrap up with a summary that students with learning disabilities need when accessing a reading systems. That is the ability to have the text read out loud, study skills like highlighting and annotation, dictionary look up. Keep in mind that reading systems offer a variety of these features. Some may support some of the features better than others. With that in mind, you want to focus on what your students need and what kind of devices they are using and what they prefer to match the reading system that will go with their needs. We would encourage you to communicate with the publishers of textbook content who are increasingly creating more EPUBs and the web developers that support the opening of EPUB. If you are involved in creating alternative formats, we recommend you get involved with our EPUB test group that is constantly testing the EPUB reading systems for support of the EPUB 3 specification. With that I would like to thank you on behalf of Richard and thank you for your attention. I’m going to turn it over to you dawn.>>Dawn: Let’s see if we can get through 10 questions in 6 minutes . There’s some simple ones in here. I will start with the VoiceDream one. Will VoiceDream work on laptop or PC ?>>Joseph: Currently there is not a lap top or PC version. Just iOS or Android.>>Dawn: Another attendee commented that there’s going to be EPUB sessions there and is a great reason to go to Accessing Higher Ground. Can you show the YouTube. link so people can see the>>Joseph: It’s http://bit. ly / epub-ld for learning disabilities.>>Dawn: There was mention of Adobe Digital Editions, does it read out loud?>>Richard: No it does not.>>Dawn: Okay. Next question regarding Bookshare. I thought students needed to have a print disability in order to access Bookshare books. Even though students with ADHD could benefit they didn’t qualify for Bookshare membership. Is the publishers move to EPUB allowing all types of disabilities access to the files?>>Joseph: Well, the questioner is correct. Bookshare as well as Learning Ally do place a restriction on who has access to their libraries. So currently only students with a print disability. So visually impaired, mobility, dyslexia or specific reading disability . Students with ADD or ADHD are not allowed access. The question about publishers creating more EPUB that’s sort of an question Richard may answer.>>Richard: We talk about inclusive publishing. So books born digital are also born accessible. That’s not just the work of the publishers. It’s the distribution chain right through the apps or websites being used by the students. The great thing about an inclusive concept is that the student does not have to have a disability or declare a disability to be able to make use of that EPUB. Increasingly on the reading systems that the publishers are distributing through VitalSource, RedShelf and many more, they have features that in the past would have been considered to be accessibility provisions but now are just good practice. So the ability to enlarge and choose a font, read aloud are features that you’ll see in mainstream reading apps. So that transition to EPUB is unlocking features that are beneficial to the sorts of students mentioned without them having to go to special libraries.>>Dawn: Thank you. Does Edge as the Internet browser on windows 10 have native EPUB reading features? Does it have book shelf features or just reading features and where are they in the browser menus?>>Joseph: Okay . So Microsoft Edge is the default EPUB application if you’re running windows 10. If you’re running windows 7 or 8, you do not have Microsoft Edge. Microsoft Edge opens EPUB. It would be the application if a student were to purchase a book via the Windows store. If a student has any EPUB that’s on their Windows 10 device, PC or Surface, they would be able to use Edge to read the EPUB.>>Richard: So you mentioned the Microsoft book store but if you go to a university library system and you choose the EPUB from that as your download when you get that EPUB it can open up in your Edge system if it’s an unprotected EPUB. It doesn’t have a book shelf but you can collect from what you have gotten from perhaps Bookshare or from the publisher and arrange them in a folder and as you open the EPUB they will open right there within Edge. The video that is part of the YouTube play list that is linked will show the features that exist within Edge. Interesting things like change fonts.>>Dawn: One more question before we wrap up. Are all of these plat forms accessible via keyboard navigation for students who are blind and visually impaired?>>Joseph: That’s a good question. I would refer you to the EPUB support grid that we were mentioning earlier that goes into a much deeper dive of which reading systems support screen reader users . I can speak just from experience in testing with Mac OS Voiceover that books is accessible. Also VitalSource book shelf for Mac OS is very accessible using voice over. Richard, would you like to mention others?>>Richard: Lack of support for screen reader would be the exception. Rather than something that is common. Where you will find poor screen reader support is when something is designed for someone with dyslexia. Like Kurzweil. Lots of the others like Edge and Books and VitalSource Bookshelf and Easyeader can be used through the keyboard or gestures on a touch screen if you’re using a device like a smart phone or tablet. As Dawn Evans mentioned, the next webinar — this is probably your segue over to your closing piece will focus on access for blind students.>>Dawn: Thank you. Thank you for mentioning that. That will be a wonderful opportunity. I don’t want to hold you up any longer. Thank you Joseph and Richard for taking the time to share this information. Thank you to everyone who attended today. I hope that you are able to attend the future webinars or watch the videos after the fact. Everybody have a wonderful day. Bye bye. I hope you are able to attend the

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