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DAISY Reading Systems Testing Group Partners with Benetech

2016 September 22
by George Kerscher and Amaya Webster

The DAISY Reading System Testing Group was formed to test how different Reading Systems perform with different types of Assistive Technology and which functions are or are not supported. For example, the group might test how well a refreshable braille device works with Jaws to read a book using Kindle. Upon completion of the test, which examines things like ease of navigation, media overlays, etc. the reading system will be scored and that score eventually published, so that user of assistive technology can determine with ease what system would work best for their needs. Much the way DIAGRAM’s Math Support Finder works for users needing access to accessible math.

We are delighted to announce that the Reading System Testing Group will be partnering with Benetech to further our goals of certification and buy accessible materials. DIAGRAM’s own Amaya Webster has just started as the community manager for the Reading System Testing group. Amaya, among other things, will help to identify volunteers to test Assistive Technology (AT0) used in conjunction with reading system software on all platforms.

The work, available at http://www.epubtest.org continues to identify great EPUB reading systems, and some that have real challenges.  Follow the accessibility link on epubtest and you can review the scores for the fundamental testing of 28 reading systems. Yes, there are a few that have 100% accessibility scores. The VitalSource “Bookshelf” is in the lead on all platforms. We have tested the reading systems in conjunction with JAWS, NVDA, VoiceOver, and Talkback using speech output and are currently looking to test for braille support. If you have expertise with refreshable braille and would be interested in conducting a reading system test, please contact Amaya who can help you get started.

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