In our series of free weekly webinars July 8th saw a session about the journey accessible EPUB publications take to ultimately be delivered to students in their education establishments and our speakers came from organizations involved throughout this journey.
This page contains:
- Richard Orme, The DAISY Consortium—host and chair
- Michael Johnson, Benetech
- Rachel Comerford, Macmillan Learning
- Trisha Prevett, Southern New Hampshire University
- Brendan Desetti, D2L
This webinar looked at aspects of the educational materials eco-system for accessibility and Michael Johnson opened by summarizing what would be covered:
- What is the Eco-System?
- The Publishing Workflow
- Accessible Titles in Retail
- What is Happening on Campus
- A View Inside a Learning Management System
Michael Johnson talked to us about what is happening now. Publishers are already creating accessible EPUBs, they are preparing files for 3rd party certification and accessible ebooks are are available for sale. There is reader software to support accessible EPUB files and campuses are buying accessible content and changing their procurement policies for their systems.
All elements in the workflow from the publisher to the point of retail, from being available for purchase to appearing within the LMS / library system, are part of the accessible eco-system. Our eco-system should be accessible from start to finish to benefit all students.
The business case is clear and Rachel Comerford reminded us that:
You or someone close to you has benefitted from accessibility work at least once in the last year / /month / week whether or not you consider yourself disabled.
The ingredients for an accessible environment must include:
- The Data
- The People
- The Content
- The Platform
- The End Product
Rachel took us through each of these areas in relation to publishing in general and, more specifically, how Macmillan Learning have approached these.
Trisha Prevett gave us an insight into how this feeds into what is happening on campus, where they currently have 180,000 online students! Accessibility is more important than ever and impacts the following areas:
- Procurement workflows
- Electronic Information Technology
- Assessment of Products
- Relationships with contracted vendors
- Cost of resources
- Training of faculty and staff
Brendan Desetti spoke to us about Learning Management Systems and how accessibility affects the three areas:
- Content: in supporting instructors with accessible course content
- Process: in facilitating practice of universal design for learning
- Platform: enabling accessibility and an equitable user experience
Brendan showed us how D2L are ensuring that all layers of their LMS are attending to these.
Michael Johnson summarized :
- This is indeed all happening now
- A Born Accessible EPUB is a better EPUB
- This is all real work and very do-able
- Campuses must insist that their vendors are compliant
- Publishers and platform folk should make sure they are compliant
Accessibility is about meeting the specifications but also about the user experience, the audience response, the assistance and support that comes with a product, and the change that the product undergoes.
- PowerPoint slide deck (33 MB)
- Full transcript Word document (36 KB)
- W3C Business Case for Accessibility
- Macmillan Learning Accessibility
- VitalSource Benetech bookstore
- Benetech Born Accessible