While the ePub standard was created with text documents in mind, the Pages program on the Mac can create ePub documents with embedded images. However, the current version of Pages (Pages ’09) does not allow for alternative text to be added to each image in an ePub document. Without alternative text, someone accessing the ePub document on an iPad with the iBooks app and the VoiceOver screen reader will hear the file name of each image, instead of a more useful description. This tutorial will demonstrate a technique for adding alternative text to ePub documents exported from Pages. This will make the documents more accessible to those who rely on VoiceOver to have ebooks read aloud to them on the iPad.
ePub is a standard for digital publishing maintained by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IPDF). For more information about this standard, visit http://idpf.org/epub. The ePub format is intended for the creation of ebooks with reflowable text. Pages, the word processing and page layout program included in the iWorks suite for the Mac, has an export to ePub feature that makes it easy to publish documents in ePub format. These documents can be opened with the free iBooks app from Apple on any IOS mobile device. iBooks has many accessibility features for people with print disabilities, including resizable fonts and support for the VoiceOver screen reader built into IOS.
iBooks is an ebook reader app for IOS devices such as the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. iBooks can open ebooks in the ePub format as well as PDF documents, and it is fully compatible with the VoiceOver screen reader built into IOS. This tutorial covers some of the VoiceOver gestures supported by iBooks.