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Born Accessible Books in Browsers October 25, 2013. What is Accessibility for Print Disabled Students?.

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what is accessibility for print disabled students
What is Accessibility for Print Disabled Students?

Jessica, Steffon and Shane are three of 250,000+members who can access Bookshare’s library of 210,000+ books, textbooks and periodicals with reading tools tailored to their special needs

challenge the need
Challenge: The Need

30 million

Americans with print disabilities


in U.S. have language-based disability

285 million

people with vision impairment worldwide


More requests for alternative materials at UC Berkeley in 4 years

challenge everyone s a content creator
Challenge: Everyone’s a Content Creator

$1.1 billionin new edtech financing in 2012


more expensive to retrofit for accessibility from print (or print equivalents)

a critical strategy
A Critical Strategy

All materials

Born Digital

Must be

Born Accessible

accessible content highlights
Accessible Content Highlights



Multi-modal (touch, sound)













Track: subtitles, description, etc.

Tables & Lists



what is an accessible image
What is an Accessible Image?
  • Provides different mode of access to visual information contained in an image
  • Beyond just alt text!
svg is ideal for accessibility
SVG Is Ideal for Accessibility
  • SVG can contain textual and structured descriptions and data
  • Author with SVG and if need be distribute as PNG/JPEG
  • SVG can more easily be turned into tactile graphics
  • SVG has potential to be 3D printable
  • SVG can be sonified
stem descriptions need more than 120 chars
STEM Descriptions Need More than 120 chars

About this description

Author: John Doe, Ph.D. in Water Engineering

Target Age: 9-12

Target Grade: 4-7


The image depicts the cycle of water evaporating, turning into clouds, falling back to earth in the form of precipitation and being filtered through sediment.

Long Description

The image depicts the natural process of evaporation and precipitation and how rain water gets filtered and cleansed through the earth's sediment.

On the left-hand side of the image is a lake...

A weather event such as a rainstorm eventually returns the precipitation to the ground...

The natural filtering agents in the soil...

Annotation added by teacher

In the winter we get snow instead of rain.

Simplified Language Description

The image shows how water becomes clouds, then rain, and then gets cleaned by the soil.

Tactile Image

[Tactile image]

In the upper left corner of the tactile…

Simplified Image

[Simplified image]

Moving front the top left corner of the image

You can add long descriptions to HTML 5!

  • MathML support is taking steps forward
    • Safari and Firefox visually render MathML
    • Aural rendering in Safari, Chrome(Vox) and is coming in NVDA
    • Visual and aural rendering in IE 9 with MathPlayerplugin
  • But steps backward as well
    • Chrome dropped MathML support
    • IE 10 & 11 do not support MathPlayer plugin
stopgap math accessibility solutions
Stopgap Math Accessibility Solutions
  • MathJax JavaScript libraryfor all browsers
  • MathJax + Chrome(Vox) on the server as a web service
    • Input: MathML or LaTex
    • Output: SVG with embedded descriptions or PNG/JPG with alt descriptions
interactive content widgets
Interactive Content / Widgets
  • Simulations
  • Interactive Number Lines
  • Quizzes
  • 3D models
recipe html 5 tagging example
Recipe HTML 5 Tagging Example

<div itemscopeitemtype="">

<div itemprop="nutrition” itemscopeitemtype="">

Nutrition facts:

<span itemprop="calories">240 calories</span>,



- <span itemprop="ingredients">3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed</span>

- <span itemprop="ingredients">1 egg</span>

accessibility properties
Accessibility Properties

google custom search example
Google Custom Search Example

Search for “history” titles on Bookshare filter by presence of image descriptions:

what can you do
What can you do?

Leverage standards, such as HTML 5, WAI-ARIA, EPUB 3

Build content creation tools that make accessibility easy

Create reading systems that are accessible to use, leverage standards and build on open source projects like Readium

Hack –