Introducing Thorium, a new free desktop EPUB reader for Windows and Mac


Presented at 8:00am in Lakehouse on Thursday, November 21, 2019.



  • Richard Orme, Mr, DAISY Consortium
  • George Kerscher, Chief Innovations Officer, DAISY Consortium

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: Beginner
  • Type of session: General Conference


Thorium is a new desktop reading app with the ambition to become a true world-class reading solution students using for Windows, macOS or Linux. We will demonstrate the application, with an emphasis on features of interest to students who are blind, low vision or have a specific learning disability.


Thorium Reader is developed by EDRLab, a Paris-based non-profit organization supported in part by the French government. The application will be suitable for studying with a range of materials, including textbooks, journal articles and faculty generated content.

Thorium has many features that AHG conference delegates will be interested in, such as screen reader support and great visual adjustments for specific learning differences. Because the app is free and does not require user accounts, it is an interesting option for installation on the computers of university libraries.

The application is available now, and instructions for downloading and installing will be provided.

In the session we will demonstrate the main functionality, accessibility features, and also the 'coming soon' provisions of read-aloud and math.

Delegates will have the opportunity to identify additional desired features, which will be fed back to the development team.


  1. Thorium Reader is a free and accessible reading application for Windows and macOS
  2. Thorium is an app that all students can use, including those with print disabilities
  3. Thorium is in active development, this is an opportunity to highlight additional desirable features

Disability Areas

Topic Areas


Speaker Bio(s)

Richard Orme

When teaching in a college in rural England more than 30 years ago, Richard encountered his first blind student, beginning a career in what we now refer to as accessibility. He has worked for local, national and international organizations, with young, old, and very old people, with visual, physical, dual sensory and cognitive disabilities. Having identified a critical lack of accessible curriculum materials in the UK, Richard led an initiative for a national database of accessible textbooks, now grown to become the national Education Collection operating as RNIB Bookshare.

Richard is Chief Executive of the DAISY Consortium, the global organization whose mission is to develop standards and solutions for accessible publishing and reading.He volunteers in his community as a home visitor, providing technology support for people with disabilities. Richard’s brother James has a profound learning disability, and his son Jim has dyslexia and is currently studying aerospace engineering at university.

George Kerscher