Reading Systems/Apps Tutorials for Screen Reader Users (NNELS)

The The National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS) presents YouTube videos that guide screen reader users through different reading systems/apps. These YouTube videos are an excellent resource for library staff who want to know how the reading systems/apps are accessible with screen readers.

Quick Facts

  • The reading systems/apps that are represented in this YouTube series are:
  • Hyphen Reader has a simple interface and provides options for visual adjustment. This reading system works reasonably well with VoiceOver, but some controls are excluded from the swipe order. It also lacks a read-to-end feature, so users must activate voiceOver’s reading function at the beginning of each new chapter.
  • FBReader has an interface that is pretty easy to learn and use and works with a variety of book formats (EPUB, etc.). It does not provide a read-to-end feature, but a tap on the screen will narrate the current page. FBReader is not recommended for readers new to VoiceOver as it was designed for a mainstream audience.
  • Google Play Books has a clear and well-organized interface. It provides a read-aloud feature, but when you stop playing the book (your position is not saved), it does not read image descriptions. Google Play Books is a good choice for novels and reference materials and works well with the screen reader, TalkBack.
  • Bookari offers an interface that is simple and easy to learn. It does not provide a read-to-end feature, but the VoiceOver screen reader automatically advances readers to the next page. There are advertisements in the free version of this app, which can be an issue for VoiceOver.
  • VitalSource Bookshelf can read EPUB books and has a built-in read-aloud feature. However, some features are difficult to access with a screen reader, so this app may not be the best for beginners.
  • Captivoice is an excellent reading system. It has a clear and straightforward user interface, and the controls are well-labelled. Capti Voice has a read-aloud feature with pause and resume buttons, and screen reader users can navigate by heading or page.
  • Cloudshelf Reader has a straightforward interface that includes accessible features. Cloudshelf supports both text and audiobooks, but not DAISY books. It doesn’t offer a read-aloud feature, and navigation by page is impossible.
  • Dolphin EasyReader’s interface is easy to learn, so you can quickly use the app. It has a read-aloud feature with pause and resume buttons, and screen readers can navigate by heading or page. Both DAISY and EPUB (text and/or audio) formats are supported.
  • Simply Reading has a basic interface with clear options that makes it easy to learn to use. It supports both EPUB and DAISY formats. The screen reader TalkBack continuous-reading feature works well, but Simply Reading does not provide a read-aloud function.
  • Thorium works on Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems, and you can read EPUB, DAISY, and PDF file formats with it. Thorium displays books and pages as Web pages, so you can use Web browsing commands to move around (e.g. by heading, link or button) with your screen reader.

Visit the Reading Systems/Apps Tutorials for Screen Reader Users

References

National Network for Equitable Library Service (Nov. 20, 2019). NNELS Bookari Tutorial for Screen Reader Users. YouTube. Retrieved from: https://youtu.be/2qE4Mo4D8rw

National Network for Equitable Library Service (Dec. 3, 2019). NNELS Captivoice Tutorial for Screen Reader Users. YouTube. Retrieved from: https://youtu.be/RAXEPSguSOM

National Network for Equitable Library Service (Dec. 23, 2019). NNELS Cloudshelf Reader Tutorial for Screen Reader Users. YouTube. Retrieved from: https://youtu.be/zQLJj7w2tzs

National Network for Equitable Library Service (Dec. 23, 2019). NNELS Dolphin EasyReader Tutorial for Screen Reader Users. YouTube. Retrieved from: https://youtu.be/ZuAV9L8sq40

National Network for Equitable Library Service (Dec. 23, 2019). NNELS FBReader Ebook Reading Tutorial for Screen Reader Users. YouTube. Retrieved from: https://youtu.be/3i0E6wq8tmw

National Network for Equitable Library Service (Dec. 23, 2019). NNELS Google Play Books Ebook Reading Tutorial for Screen Reader Users. YouTube. Retrieved from: https://youtu.be/Yk4WLI4ksIc

National Network for Equitable Library Service (Dec. 23, 2019). NNELS Hyphen Reader Ebook Reading Tutorial for Screen Reader Users. YouTube. Retrieved from: https://youtu.be/ydbLVNhuzMk

National Network for Equitable Library Service (Mar. 13, 2020). Simply Reading. YouTube. Retrieved from: https://youtu.be/sBNuq_aofIw

National Network for Equitable Library Service (Nov. 4, 2021). Thorium Version 1.7: Demonstration with Screen-reader. YouTube. Retrieved from: https://youtu.be/x2SbH_yZEyw

National Network for Equitable Library Service (Nov. 20, 2019). NNELS VitalSource Bookshelf Tutorial for Screen Reader Users. YouTube. Retrieved from: https://youtu.be/PlkpI0DJlTc