Inspiring Words from Industry Leaders: Interview with Dr Alicia Wise

Dr Alicia Wise, subject of this interviewInclusive Publishing has embarked on a series of interviews with industry leaders and their approach to accessibility. Dr Alicia Wise has been active in championing accessibility and inclusive publishing for nearly 20 years in roles crossing academia and publishing.  These include Jisc, Publishers Licensing Society, Publishers Association, Accessible Books Consortium, and most recently Elsevier.

There are many organisations who are available to help publishers on their accessibility journeys.  …..it is better for all if our industry works to shared standards for inclusive publishing.

Why is inclusive publishing important to you and to publishing organisations? 

I’m motivated by my incredible brother who has dyslexia, and really struggles to read printed text.  Despite this he is a successful artist and businessman, and as he loves story-telling he’s currently working on an illustrated children’s book.  For publishing organisations, inclusive publishing is important because it expands your potential market and offers the potential to delight and engage a wider audience.

Do you have a top tip for others new to accessibility?

Perfection is the enemy of the good.  Don’t feel you need to make all your books perfectly accessible in one step.  Get started on the journey, and keep this end goal in sight.

What do you wish you knew about accessibility 5 or 10 years ago?

I wish I had understood how very difficult it can be to engage supply chain partners, and particularly book retailers, in adopting accessible web practices.  If more were to do so, accessible books would be more easily discoverable by people who would like to buy them.

What do you think the biggest game changer for inclusive publishing will be in the next few years? 

More publishers using the EPUB format for their digital publishing, and more publishers including information about the accessibility features of their products in their marketing materials.

For those still on the fence, why should they consider accessibility? 

Do you sell any books to organisations – businesses, libraries, schools, universities? If so, you’ll increasingly find requirements for book accessibility in tender documents so it is smart business to get on the front foot by embracing inclusive publishing.  Do you sell books to millennials? Well, you are in luck: many of the features and functions that will make your books more accessible will make your books more usable by these customers.

How have good inclusive publishing practices influenced the majority of readers?

By making digital texts more usable for all.

Why should companies consider publishing a policy on inclusive publishing?

This is a gentle way to get started and can be a really terrific way to engage employees: discuss and plan steps you’ll take as an organisation to be more diverse and inclusive in your publishing practices.

Do you have any final thoughts on accessibility or inclusive publishing practices you would like to share?

There are many organisations who are available to help publishers on their accessibility journeys.  Inclusive Publishing is linked with all of these, and is a terrific source of insight on best practice.  Please don’t feel you need to reinvent the wheel – in fact it is better for all if our industry works to shared standards for inclusive publishing.

What? How? Why? We’ve Got it Covered!

Street sign with the word "ASK" lit up under a lampDo you have questions you’d like answered?

We want to hear from you on any topic  related to accessibility and inclusive publishing to inspire articles and to help us build our FAQs and a relevant glossary.  Perhaps a colleague asked something you think might be good to share. Is there information that you think your co-workers would benefit from? It doesn’t matter if the question is for a novice or expert audience, we want to provide information which is relevant to you, your teams and the broader industry.

Let’s make sure everyone has the correct information on how they can include accessibility within their mainstream content workflows.

You can use our survey to submit your questions, or simply tweet them to us @inclusivepub. We look forward to reading your questions, and over the coming months we will endeavour to answer as many as possible.

Inclusive Design 24 #id24

October 11th, 2018

Inclusive Design 24 is a free 24-hour online community event on accessibility. It celebrates efforts worldwide to ensure people with disabilities have full and equal access to the web. This 24 hour completely free event includes 24 one-hour webinars on all things accessibility. The sessions range from beginner to advanced and are aimed at everyone from executives to web developers.

Date

October 11, 2018

Venue

Online

Learn More

For details on how to take part in this exciting event see the Inclusive Design 24 web page

 

Inspiring Words from Industry Leaders: Interview with Hugo Setzer, The International Publishers Association

Photograph of Hugo Setzer, subject of this interviewInclusive Publishing has embarked on a series of interviews with industry leaders and their approach to accessibility. Hugo Setzer, CEO of Manual Moderno, a leading publishing house in Mexico City, is also Vice-President of the International Publishers Association and is personally committed to accessible publishing and to building awareness throughout the industry.

If you are serious about inclusive publishing, making it public and having a policy is the first step. It will allow you to inform and align forces within the company and to keep your commitment.

Why is inclusive publishing important to you and your organization?

First, I am convinced it is the right thing to do. For two years in a row our company has been included in the list of the Best Workplaces for Diversity and Inclusion in Mexico (Great Place to Work, Mexico) and we are convinced inclusion is not only important for our people, but for our customers as well. In addition, the International Publishers Association, where I am currently serving as Vice-President, fully supports and promotes accessible publishing. Our President, Michiel Kolman, is on the board of the Accessible Books Consortium.

Do you have a top tip for others new to accessibility?

Get started. Confucius said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Stay consistent and, as Huw Alexander from SAGE says, don’t worry about failing once in a while, you will. Learn from others.

What do you wish you knew about accessibility 5 or 10 years ago?

I would have liked to be more aware about the importance of accessible publishing for persons with a visual disability. A colleague in my company, who is blind, had her family read out her textbooks in college for her so that she was able to major in communications. There were no accessible books available at the time.

What do you think will be the biggest game changer for inclusive publishing in the next few years?

I think technology for one thing, but I am also confident the landscape will change dramatically. Today less than 10% of publications are available in accessible formats. With all the efforts from so many publishers around the world, I am sure that number will show a sharp increase in the very near future.

For those still on the fence, why should they consider accessibility?

As mentioned, it is the right thing to do. But I am convinced it also makes perfect business sense. We have expanded our potential customer base and by improving the accessibility of our content, we are able to produce better e-books as well.

How have good inclusive publishing practices influenced the majority of your readers?

As we are only starting this journey, that is something we don’t know yet, but we expect it will have a positive impact. As consumers, we no longer just buy the cheapest product, we also want to make sure the company which produces it is aware and socially responsible.

Why should companies consider publishing a policy on Inclusive Publishing?

If you are serious about inclusive publishing, making it public and having a policy is the first step. It will allow you to inform and align forces within the company and to keep your commitment.

Can you sum up your attitude towards inclusive publishing in one sentence?

Inclusive publishing is the right thing to do.

Do you have any final thoughts on accessibility or inclusive publishing practices you would like to share?

Don’t try to do everything immediately. Choose the titles which are best suited for inclusive publishing. In our company, for example, we have some profusely illustrated medical textbooks, which are not the best candidates for making them accessible, but there are many others that are.