Winners Announced: ABC Excellence Awards

The winners of the 2017 Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing were announced at the London Book Fair.

SAGE of the UK won in the publisher category, and Tiflonexos of Argentina won for its project initiative.

SAGE works closely with the AccessText Network, Bookshare, RNIB Bookshare, and others in disseminating content for accessibility enhancement.

Both are dedicated to creating a level playing field by ensuring that their publications are accessible to all.

The organizations in each category received their awards during the well-attended ceremony held during the London Book Fair at the Olympia Conference Center.

More information is available on the Accessible Books Consortium website.

March 23, 2017: How to Create Accessible EPUB

This one-day training seminar in Baltimore focused on creating and implementing accessible EPUB 3 in a variety of different settings.

EPUB 3 provides features that outstrip those of electronic setups originally designed to be a replica of print, such as PDF. EPUB allows developing a better book that adapts to screen sizes and font size preferences. It is possible to create a book that speaks to the user in every sense, including the most literal – text-to-speech. With the accessible EPUB conformance requirements now out, a framework is developing to make this format work for all readers.

The EPUB accessibility conformance specification was a prominent topic. Speakers discussed how the accessibility specification can help achieve greater ease of access. Organizers also addressed the latest updates to EPUB.

This event was hosted under the auspices of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) Center of Excellence in Nonvisual Access to Education, Public Information, and Commerce (CENA). The CENA serves to share the considerable knowledge that the NFB and its partners have of web accessibility and access technology to bring about greater accessibility in government, education, and business; to promote best practices nationally and to build Maryland’s status as a leader in the field.

Making Books Accessible: 2017 London Book Fair

This is an annual seminar, coordinated by the Publishers Association’s (PA) Accessibility Action Group. The main goal is to help publishers tackle accessibility issues and meet requirements.

Mark Bide served as a Chair on March 16th.  Speakers were Emma House, Richard Orme, and Bill McCoy.

Emma House, Director of Publisher Relations at the PA, opened with a briefing on the Marrakesh Treaty. Following the PA Guidelines, publishers gain a clear understanding of what is required of them and who can provide assistance.

Richard Orme, Chief Executive Officer of the DAISY Consortium, focused on funded work to define a “Baseline for Accessibility”. Richard’s slides are available on SlideShare.

Bill McCoy explored the latest version of the EPUB standard. EPUB 3.1 includes the new accessibility specification for EPUB,  providing publishers with the most accessible mainstream file format for digital publishing. Bill provided an update on how publishers can make the most of its features.


W3C Publishing Business Group Kickoff Meeting

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Publishing Business Group kickoff meeting took place in London on March 13th.

The Publishing Business Group fosters ongoing participation by members of the publishing industry and overall publishing ecosystem in the development of the Web for publishing. It also serves as a conduit for feedback between the publishing ecosystem and W3C.

This group is also a forum for former International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) members – now TPI (Transitional Publishing Industry) members. Other interested W3C members can join to steer the evolution of the EPUB standard. The W3C Publishing Working Group will lead the technical standards work.

HarperCollins hosted the meeting led by the new co-chairs of the Publishing Business Group, Rick Johnson (VitalSource, USA) Cristina Mussinelli (AIE, LIA, Italy) and Paul Belfanti (Ascend Learning, USA).

One of the main topics discussed during the meeting was the setup of the Publishing Working Group. More information is available on the EDRLab website.

Reflections: EPUB Summit 2017

The second EPUB Summit, held in Brussels March 9-10, showcased the latest technological developments. With more than 150 attendees from different countries, it has become the not-to-miss European gathering for the Digital Publishing industry.

The EPUB Summit is organized by EDRLab to promote EPUB, the publishing standard used all around the world. EPUB is in a good position to become the format of choice for online and offline publications.

Interoperability was the central theme: using EPUB as a publishing format to let readers choose how they want to read (choice of device) to enjoy the best reading experience.

Following the recent combination of the IDPF (International Digital Publishing Forum) with the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium), work is now starting at the W3C. The EPUB 3 Community Group under W3C is open to all interested parties.

EPUB for Education, the EPUB 3 profile dedicated to the Education sector,  was also part of the discussion. Several interesting proposals were made, advocating a close collaboration between the W3C and a relaunched “EDUPUB Alliance” around a new profile based on EPUB 3.1. Laurent Le Meur has posted a comprehensive summary of the EPUB Summit 2017 to the EDRLab website.