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Re: Fixed Format EPUB all seem to fail WCAG 2.1 SC 1.4.10

From: Wayne Dick <Wayne.Dick@csulb.edu>
Date: Tue, 16 Jul 2019 21:09:53 +0000
To: 'George Kerscher' <kerscher@montana.com>, "public-epub3@w3.org" <public-epub3@w3.org>, "vincent.wartelle@isicrunch.com" <vincent.wartelle@isicrunch.com>
Message-ID: <BYAPR12MB31095060E3DC3537192F42E384CE0@BYAPR12MB3109.namprd12.prod.outlook.com>
To all who read my post:

Textbook accessibility has improved, for partially sighted readers, since spring 2018.

At CSUN 2018, I was inspired by the panel, "Why EPUB is the Standard for Accessible eBooks". I immediately went out and signed up for VitalSource to get a good physics textbook that word wrapped. I struck out. Next, I looked at calculus, because one of my neighborhood kids had grown up and was having trouble with calculus. I struck out. Then I started wandering around STEM textbooks in general: not encouraging. I could not find a top line STEM textbook that reflowed.

Last week I posted this old result on the EPUB 3.2 feedback issues forum, but my data is no longer correct. George Kerscher challenged my result, and he is correct today. There is at least one good calculus book that reflows on VitalSource, "Calculus 3rd Edition" by Jon Rogawski and Colin Adams. Also, a leading physics book for majors, University Physics with Modern Physics by Hugh D. Young and Roger A. Freedman in now reflowable.  Halliday and Resnik, an immortal physics textbook I used in college, is also in reflowable format. Of the 20 titles on the first page of VitalSource that are raised by the search "Physics", 7 are reflowable titles.

In a little more than 18 months the situation has changes quite a bit.

Now, my survey is wildly informal.  However, I think this is important to track more carefully. A student with low vision should be able to get the STEM book used in their class in reflowable format.

Well that is all for now. I want to keep this focused.

Best, Wayne Dick

PS. Thank you George for getting me to go back and look at new data.

From: vincent.wartelle@isicrunch.com <vincent.wartelle@isicrunch.com>
Sent: Friday, July 12, 2019 9:30 AM
To: 'George Kerscher'; Wayne Dick; public-epub3@w3.org
Subject: RE: Fixed Format EPUB all seem to fail WCAG 2.1 SC 1.4.10


As an EPUB3 Fixed Layout producer since 2010, I do agree that this format is not tailored for accessibility.

That’s why we have launched a R&D program to produce Digital Ressources from PDF that are reflowable,

that means that the ressources could be delivered with Text, DYS and TTS tools incorporated into them.

The first outcomes very promising of our research involving AI, has been presented during the Digital Publishing Summit

in Paris in June (thanks to EDRLab) and I would be interested to discuss further on that matter.

Best regards

Vincent Wartelle


M : +33 6 70 07 75 49     T : +33 1 69 29 89 03
1 avenue de l'Atlantique – Bâtiment Mac Kinley
91940 LES ULI.

S – France

LinkedIn: https://fr.linkedin.com/in/vincentwartelle

From: George Kerscher <kerscher@montana.com>
Sent: vendredi 12 juillet 2019 00:07
To: 'Wayne Dick' <Wayne.Dick@csulb.edu>; public-epub3@w3.org
Subject: RE: Fixed Format EPUB all seem to fail WCAG 2.1 SC 1.4.10

Hello Wayne,

We highly recommend that publishers use reflowable EPUB 3 to make content as broadly accessible as possible. But EPUB uses HTML to represent its content, so we also have to work with publishers to get them to follow WCAG guidelines. We don’t restrict content at the core specification level. The EPUB Accessibility specification is where we inform publishers on how to apply WCAG and what we use to evaluate publications for conformance.

Any publisher who distributes EPUB 3 as a fixed format should put in the accessibilitySummary that this is in fixed layout and is not accessible. We agree with you that fixed layouts are not generally accessible. Screen enlargement is not the only problem with them.

Where are you getting these fixed layout EPUBs from, out of curiosity?



From: Wayne Dick <Wayne.Dick@csulb.edu<mailto:Wayne.Dick@csulb.edu>>
Sent: Thursday, July 11, 2019 2:26 PM
To: public-epub3@w3.org<mailto:public-epub3@w3.org>
Cc: George Kerscher <kerscher@montana.com<mailto:kerscher@montana.com>>
Subject: Fixed Format EPUB all seem to fail WCAG 2.1 SC 1.4.10

Dear Community Group,

While I was looking at the EPUB Content Document 3.2 from the W3C Community Group I could not help but notice that there is no case to cover 320 CSS Pixels in width. Support for this case is now required (normative) by WCAG 2.1 in recognition of the fact that horizontal scrolling does not support effective reading.

For an easy visualization of this issue you may look at, https://nosetothepage.org/Fitz/2dScroll.html. This presentation is good for sighted readers because our best examples are visual. If a blind user would like to experience the issue imagine a braille document where each line of text was laid out across two pages, a left and right page. To read a line of text, you would start on the left page and then move to the right page; find the remainder of the line to read on the right page; finish reading the line on the right page and then find the next line on the left page. This is how people with low vision have been expected to read forever. To read a 100 page book requires 10,000 such transitions from page to page, at a minimum. Note: When I say minimum I mean the minimum number of scrolls needed for the user to have an opportunity to see each letter once.  In recognition of this difficulty the W3C developed the Reflow success criterion (SC 1.4.10). This severe problem for people with partial sight was trivialize by the Blind and Visual Impairment support community for many years, and it probably cost many young people the opportunity to attend and / or complete college.

I personally worked my way through a graduate program in mathematics using technologies that required horizontal scrolling. The only thing that got me through was my deep love of the subject. At that time we could not even get recorded books for the blind, since the Chafee amendment had not passed.

In my 30 years as a Professor of computer science I taught around 2400 CS majors. In that time 2 students with partial sight graduated from our program. Give 3,000,000 people with partial sight in the US that is a profoundly low level of under representation. Fixed Format explains a lot of that.

Sincerely, Wayne
Received on Tuesday, 16 July 2019 21:10:20 UTC

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