[BCAB] overdrive service accessibility 2 years on

Graham Page gpage at useit.plus.com
Sun Oct 9 10:32:02 BST 2016


Hi all.

 

Firstly, while my question does relate to technology, is there a better
place to ask questions about the Overdrive service?

 

I have been an Overdrive user since the service was introduced.  It's
certainly better than nothing and I am able to use the service both on my
IPhone an on my PC which is certainly an improvement to the book stream
service in some ways.

 

There are, however, still some serious unaddressed  issues about which RNIB
seems to be very quiet.  Firstly, on the website, we were told that a new
version was coming and it was hinted that this might be more accessible.  I
can see nothing new or improved about accessibility whatsoever.  There are
some strategies for navigating the website  on a PC with a screenreadder
which I have suggested to RNIB, but I am not really convinced that those
responsible for the overdrive service quite understand screenreaders
themselves.  I have tried looking for the screenreader help page by doing a
search on the rnib site for overdrive and screenreader but as usual with the
RNIB site, doing searches for things does not really turn up what I am
looking for.  The search facility on the RNIB  website seems so inadequate
to me that I wonder if I am using the wrong strategy.  I just enter relevant
words, like searching with google at a basic level.

 

I could ring up RNIB and ask for the latest screenreader guide for Overdrive
to be sent to me but the whole point of an online offering is that you
should be able to do things independently without having to ring and ask.

 

I understand of course that the service is free but we should still be able
to suggest improvements and make reasonable constructive criticisms.

 

I also use the IPhone app with voiceover and at a demo recently, I was
surprised to find that sighted people can wind backwards and forwards
through a recording by tapping and holding on a button and you can hear the
audio going fast like using an old tape recorder.  With voiceover all we can
do is go back or forwarde 15 seconds or go to the  previous or next heading
but the headings don't relate to a chapter, maybe it's just a time block.

 

I think it's fair to say that while overdrive is useable by those with
screenreaders, we do get a rather second class experience.  I'd rather pay a
little bit each year and have a first class fully accessible experience.
Unfortunately, those responsible for delivering and demonstrating the
service seem reluctant to accept that there are still significant access
issues with the service.  2 years on, I would hope that RNIB would have
noted the accessibility issues,  passed them onto Overdrive, and been able
to give us some info concerning when the accessibility issues might be
fixed.

 

Regards

 

Graham



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