HERMOPHILOS: A Web-Based Information System for the Workflow Management and Delivery of Accessible eTextbooks
In this work we present the functional specifications, architecture and implementation of the HERMOPHILOS web-based system developed to auto-mate and accelerate the accessible eTextbooks’ production, workflow management, and delivery in an a higher education environment. We describe the redesign of the relative manual procedures and we show how HERMOPHILOS makes things easier and faster for the print-disabled students, as well as for the personnel involved. The web services of HERMOPHILOS include user sign up, user authentication, user rights management, students’ accessible textbooks re-quests, digital textbook requests to publishers, requests’ progress monitoring, original digital textbook copy submission, scanning, OCR, version and archive management, copyright protection, distribution, and digital content usage statistics. Implementation specifications included support for all browsers, operating systems, and mobile devices, accessible user interfaces (WCAG 2.0 AA), and advanced encryption and security policies. The HERMOPHILOS system sup-ports multiple formats for eTextbooks: plain text (.txt), rich text (.rtf), accessible markup (.xml, .xhtml, and .html), large print (.doc), audio books (.mp3), DAISY 2&3 (text only or full text - full audio), Braille (.brf or .brl), MS-Word (.docx), portable document format (.pdf) and LaTex (.tex). Paperwork was dramatically reduced, and the need for students’ visits to the accessibility office was eliminated. Τhe results show that, compared to the traditional procedure, the HERMOPHILOS workflow management system reduced the overall production and delivery time by 47 %.
KeywordsAccessibility eTextbook Accessible books
This research has been partially co-financed by the European Union (European Social Fund—ESF) and Greek national funds through the Operational Program “Digital Convergence” of the National Strategic Reference Frame-work (NSRF), Research Funding Project ‘Accessible Academic Textbooks’ eServices for Students with Disabilities” MIS 304140. The publication of this work has been funded by the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.
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