In the recent update to version 19.2 (February 2024) of InDesign, new features were introduced to improve the export of accessible EPUBs, thanks to expert advice from the Better EPUB from InDesign working group, and encouragement from the Accessible Books Consortium and the Federation of European Publishers.
The new accessibility metadata panel allows content producers to directly enter the publication’s accessibility metadata. This is a significant step forward but readers should note that this panel is not automatically filled and requires the user to ensure that accessibility information is included within the file’s metadata.
Also new is the ability to correctly indicate the document language. All XHTML files contained in the EPUB include the main language attribute within the html tag, so manual editing is no longer necessary.
Gregorio Pellegrino explains these improvements in more detail in this LIA Foundation update.
The working group continues to advise and collaborate with Adobe to improve the InDesign software and these new features are the beginning of a path that aims to make digital publications increasingly accessible, without the need for manual intervention in the code of exported files.
The DAISY Consortium’s Richard Orme commented:
The DAISY Consortium are delighted to see progress in this area. We encourage everyone to make use of the metadata and language enhancements, which are significant steps towards our goal of improving the accessibility of EPUBs exported from InDesign. Our thanks to everyone involved including DAISY Consortium members and friends who have collaborated to support Adobe with expert advice.
For a closer look at these changes you may be interested to read Updates to InDesign’s EPUB Export Bring New Accessibility Features by fellow working group member, Laura Brady.