Improving the Accessibility of your Mainstream Digital Content


People with print disabilities can find traditional publications difficult or impossible to read. You can make a difference to your customers, meet legal requirements and expand your market share if you take steps to be an inclusive publisher, building accessibility into your content from the very beginning. See the resource an Introduction to Inclusive Publishing to understand the terminolgy and concepts involved in mainstream accessibility.

Many publications are now designed for digital distribution and consumption, to be read on smartphones, tablets, computers, e-readers, and more. People with print disabilities can use accessibility features to achieve the best possible reading experience to suit their individual needs. The promise of a consistent, accessible reading experience can be achieved by following industry standards and guidelines.

Adding accessibility to an existing file is like adding accessibility ramps to an old building – a retro fit that can be time consuming and expensive. It is much more efficient to build accessibility into the start of your publishing workflow, so that it becomes an integral step in your content development process.

The EPUB 3 format provides the chance to offer the most accessible experience to your users and the Ace by DAISY EPUB accessibility checking tool is available to help you in your efforts. There is plenty of help available both in the resources listed on the side menu on this page and in the guidelines pages of this website.

What is an Accessible Publication?

To be universally accessible, a digital book should have the following features:

  • Readable with assistive technologies.
  • Text should fit all screen sizes.
  • Adjustable text font, color, font size and line spacing.
  • Navigable by chapter, section, page, sentence and more.
  • Options to skip footnotes, sidebars, producer notes, and page numbers when reading with text-to-speech.
  • Work with different input methods e.g. keyboard, mouse, and touch.
  • Contain image captions and text descriptions for charts and graphs.
  • Videos should be captioned or accompanied by text transcript.
  • Readable on multiple platforms and devices such as computers, mobile phones, tablets, refreshable braille and digital book readers.
  • Page numbers should match the print version of the same book.

Inclusive Publishing Seasonal Survey 2019

As we approach the end of 2019, it’s the perfect time for us all to reflect on the progress we have made as an […]

Digital Book World, 2020

September 14th to 16th, 2020

The popular mainstream publishing and technology conference, Digital Book World, will feature presentations on accessible publishing content and we look forward to updating you […]

CSUN Assistive Technology Conference, 2020

March 9th to 13th, 2020

The 35th CSUN Assistive Technology Conference will be held in March next year and it promises to be as exceptional as ever. More than 5,000 […]

Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2020

May 21st, 2020

Global Accessibility Awareness Day is designed  to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital access and inclusion for people with different disabilities. Last […]

Book Expo America 2020

May 27th to 29th, 2020

At BookExpo, book industry professionals are invited to network with peers to share knowledge, explore the newest trends, learn tactics to serve new audiences […]