Posted on by & filed under accessibility, conferences, ebooks, epub3, html5, idpf, interactivity, talks, video.

Slides from my talk on creating accessible interactive ebooks with EPUB 3 are available:

To match the licenses of other content in the presentation, the PDF is available for download under a Creative Commons Non-Commercial ShareAlike.

There are a few videos in the presentation which I’ve pulled out separately:

Using an accessible HTML5-based EPUB with VoiceOver

This demonstrations uses The Restless Universe from The Open University with a screenreader. The publication (somewhere between EPUB 2 and EPUB 3) uses the HTML5 canvas element to present visualizations, and includes alternate versions for the visually-impaired. Though this demo was run on a computer, the EPUB works in iBooks. (Software tools to build these publications available at

For each example, I show the visual presentation first, then the alternate screenreader-friendly one.

Creating a screen-readable interactive publication with WAI-ARIA

WAI-ARIA roles and states are used here in this demo (running on Firefox, Windows XP, NVDA screenreader) showing that JavaScript-driven interactive publications can also be accessible.

You’ll be able to hear the screenreader announcing that the word “delighted” has a “submenu”. When I use the keyboard to navigate I can find the link-like region through the auditory landmarks, select it, and then hear the popup read to me. WIthout using the ARIA roles, such JavaScript-driven interactivity would be invisible to the screenreader. See the slides for more details on the ARIA markup used here.

Interactive storytelling for the blind

My presentation included an excerpt from the documentary Get Lamp by Jason Scott; the relevant bit begins here in this presentation at a Google Tech talk.


One Response to “IDPF Digital Book/BEA 2011: Highly-Accessible Interactive EPUB”

  1. Bill Burgess

    Wow. This is great! I am actually taking on a job for the state of TN where I will be teaching technology skills to blind and visually impaired people. I am excited to try and innovate to make their lives more rich and fun! Thanks for the ideas!