Thoughtful procurement processes can make the majority of course content accessible to all learners. As a result, students are more independent and productive.
As you aware, however, not all ebooks are accessible to students with print disabilities and knowing what to look for can help your textbook procurement staff make the best decisions for all students.
The Born Accessible Initiative outlines the main features of epublishing that would be helpful for you to consider:
To be considered accessible, ebooks should meet the following criteria:
- Main text should be distinguished from supplemental information.
- Content should not be presented as an image.
- The table of contents should be linked to the text to make it easy to navigate through the book.
- Tables should have headers and captions.
- Images should have descriptions.
- Page numbers should be included.
- Math should be presented in MathML format.
- Video and audio content should be accessible.
- Interactive content should be made accessible.
- Content is AT-compatible.
- Navigating the content does not require the use of a mouse.
Much of this information should be available in the metadata attached to the ebook and, if not, procurement officers should ask suppliers for this to be included in the future.
- Texas Education Agency: Requirements for learning materials
- Digital Materials Acquisition Policies for States (US): SETDA website
- Toolkit for Libraries, Ontario, Canada: Section on procurement
- University of Kent, UK: Accessibility in Procurement
- The eBook Accessibility Audit 2016 (UK)
- General Services Administration (US): Buy Accessible Wizard