Accessible ebooks: BIC Breakfast Event Report

BIC logoThe Book Industry Study Group held their regular BIC Breakfast meeting last month on the 25th of April focusing specifically on accessible ebooks. Speaking to a full room Emma House, Deputy CEO of the Publishers Association in the UK, opened proceedings with a presentation on the importance of accessibility and setting the scene in terms of legal and international requirements.

Do not wait; the time will never be “just right.” Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.

Richard Orme, CEO of the DAISY Consortium, followed presenting a range of tools and support services based on industry accessibility standards. In particular, he concentrated on Ace, the new , open source, EPUB Accessibility Checker, a newly developed knowledge base built to accompany Ace and SMART (Simple Manual Accessibility Reporting Tool).

The DAISY Consortium (@accesibledaisy) promotes EPUB 3 because it has all the accessibility provisions that the book industry might need. #bicbreakfast

Chris Saynor from EDItEUR rounded off proceedings with a presentation on the importance of accessibility metadata looking specifically at schema,org, ONIX, the crosswalk and the role of each. Chris was asked the question whether accessibility metadata was actually being used by retailers and it was promising to hear that this is indeed starting to happen and that Amazon are keen for publishers to supply this level of detail.

Metadata improves discoverability. “Good” metadata improves sales. People with print impairments require different functionalities and the population of specific metadata fields to find the book they need. #bicbreakfast

For further information on this interesting event and access to the slide deck used by all speakers, readers should visit the BIC website.

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