Bett 2020

January 22nd to 25th, 2020

Bett is the first industry show of the year in the education technology landscape, bringing together over 800 leading companies, 103 exciting new EdTech startups and over 34,000 attendees. People from over 146 countries in the global education community come together to celebrate, find inspiration and discuss the future of education, as well as seeing how technology and innovation enables educators and learners to thrive. Of particular interest to inclusive publishing readers are the sessions presented by Abi James, on behalf of Abilitynet.

Date

January 22-25, 2020

Venue

ExCel, London, UK

Learn More

Visit the Bett website for further information

Include! The NIPI Conference on Inclusive Publishing

March 16th to 17th, 2020

This conference has now been postponed. Further details on the rescheduled event will be promoted as soon as they are available.


The Nordic Initiative Publishing Initiative conference aims to connect key participants from the Nordic world of reading and inclusion with the goal of initiating the joint work on inclusive publishing. If you work in the publishing industry, with distribution or with key library functions, this is a great opportunity to meet the experts and organisations in the forefront of accessibility and universal design, and find out how you can start the movement towards making your own products and services accessible for all.

Date

March 16-17, 2020

Venue

Malmö, Sweden

Learn More

Visit the NIPI website for further information

Announcing the Launch of the Ace by DAISY App

The DAISY Consortium is delighted to bring you the new Ace by DAISY App. Many of you will be familiar with the command line tool which has proved revolutionary for accessibility checking within EPUB workflows and this new desktop version builds on test version released a couple of months ago to make testing EPUB files from your desktop an even easier process.

Ace by DAISY helps you to ensure your EPUB content conforms with the EPUB Accessibility 1.0 specification, allowing all readers to access and enjoy your content irrespective of print disabilities or access requirements. The Ace App is designed to allow you to quickly test EPUB files through a familiar graphical user interface and highlight any issues which need to be addressed. Users will still need some understanding of the EPUB specification and accessibility requirements in order to resolve any problems found, but to make that process easier the Ace App is integrated with the DAISY Accessible Publishing Knowledge Base proving quick links to the relevant reference in this essential resource.

The Ace App is not intended to replace the command line tool, which remains the ideal solution for those wishing to test multiple documents or to integrate the testing process directly into production workflows. Technically the testing process taking place behind the scenes is identical on both the Ace by DAISY command line tool and the Ace App, so this is simply an easier way for some users to access the same process.

Get started by visiting the Ace App Github page for instructions on download and installation.

Reflections from Accessing Higher Ground 2019

AHG Conference banner featuring conference information against a backdrop of a snow covered mountainAs we reflect on the Accessing Higher Ground Conference and look ahead to the new year, it’s clear that higher ed will continue to build an increased focus on accessibility. In an all-out effort to avoid falling victim to the triple-digit increase in digital accessibility lawsuits over the last few years, the higher ed community has been largely focused on getting its arms around the ins and outs of IT accessibility, governance, documentation, and remediation. Specifically, there has never been a more important time than now for institutions to place an increased focus around equitable and accessible learning materials. 

Nearly one in five college students have some type of disability, but on average only 11 percent of all undergraduate students formally register with a Disability Services Office (DSO). That means most institutions aren’t aware of the more than half of students with some form of disability or accessibility need. We are no longer in the age of a “one-size-fits-all” approach to instruction and learning. In the spirit of “accessibility helps everyone,” more and more campus stakeholders are embracing the universal design and inclusion mentality.

This year’s Accessing Higher Ground (AHG) Conference felt like the first major shift toward putting the student learning experience first. Thanks to conferences like AHG and the CSUN Assistive Technology Conference, the higher ed community now has a foundational understanding of what it takes to lead accessibility initiatives on campus. This has allowed us to turn inwardto the heart and soul of our institutions: the student learning experience.

One of the themes for this year’s sessions was focused around the equitable and accessible learning experience. An attendee who wanted to learn more about universal design and inclusion could curate an entire week of sessions around these subjects. From a workshop on the process of inclusive design, to tips on helping instructors and faculty understand the importance of usability, to planning for the variability of learners with universal design for learning (UDL) principles, this year’s sessions covered a wide range of topics. 

Another emerging theme from the conference was around “born accessible” EPUB in the higher ed space, driven by two of the world’s biggest accessibility rock stars, George Kerscher and Richard Orme. The publishing industry is beginning the shift from PDFs to more accessible EPUB formats in order to provide the best possible experience for all. George and Richard conducted workshops designed to demystify the world of EPUB, provided how-to sessions on creating and remediating EPUB, and chaired panels of key educational publishers showcasing the accessibility features of their EPUB titles. 

In addition to the forward-thinking sessions and discussions, an important piece of the conference went back to the basics of accessibility. As accessibility becomes increasingly more essential within higher ed, sessions and workshops around understanding accessibility laws and associated documentation, successful testing methods, and emerging assistive technologies were helpful for all of those looking to gain a base understanding. 

This year RedShelf was thrilled to share a presentation around helping campus stakeholders understand the importance of adopting accessible course materials. In order to create lasting change around accessibility, institutional stakeholders like publisher representatives, faculty, campus store managers, and accessibility offices need to be engaged. 

Knowing the importance of stakeholder involvement, one of the biggest initiatives of RedShelf’s accessibility team is educating our campus partners on the importance of adopting EPUB titles every term. Helping our partners understand why an EPUB is more effective than a PDF empowers them to create a groundswell on campus to ensure that everyone from individual faculty to admin offices is making sure course material accessibility needs are being met. While change is oftentimes difficult and institutional processes can be inflexible, we take pride in supporting each campus in their journey from accessible adoption to accessible delivery.  

The AHG Conference always feels like an opportunity to put the finishing touches on our yearly quest for accessibility as a requirement, not a feature, and look ahead to our ambitions for the new year. We are all truly accessing higher ground each November by learning, networking, sharing ideas, and seeing old friends and making new ones. I am proud to be aligned with such thoughtful and influential people helping to make the world a better place.  

Cheers to a prosperous and accessible 2020!

Our thanks to Erin Lucas for kindly submitting this article. Erin is Senior Director for Digital Accessibility at RedShelf, an Inclusive Publishing Partner.

Inclusive Publishing Seasonal Survey 2019

Silhouette of a tree with colored clipart icons on the branches. The icons denote different types of survey and assesment images which are purely decorativeAs we approach the end of 2019, it’s the perfect time for us all to reflect on the progress we have made as an industry in our work towards publications that can be enjoyed by all readers. Our short survey should only take a few minutes to complete and will allow us to share a snapshot of the community in the new year, as well as make progress towards identifying gaps in the current solutions, be they informational, technical, training provision or reference.

The survey can be accessed here—it is intended for publishing organizations. If you are not actively publishing content in digital formats we thank you for visiting, but ask that you do not complete this survey but we do always welcome comments and suggestions though our Contact Form.

We very much value your contribution, and respect your privacy. No identifiable information you submit about yourself or your organization will ever be published or shared in any way.

Thank you once again for your participation. We look forward to sharing a general summary of responses on the Inclusive Publishing website in the new year. In the meantime we would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a happy and healthy new year. Here’s to 2020!!