The Business Case For Accessible Publishing
Accessibility is good for business! There are many reasons why producing accessible content makes sound business sense.
Understanding how to produce accessible content as a standard part of your mainstream digital workflow is the ultimate business savvy approach. The aim is to produce a born accessible product that all readers can access in the same format, at the same time and at the same cost. Accessible publishing is, essentially, better publishing.
If you are responsible for accessibility within your organisation, the following arguments will provide you with a template for discussion with your colleagues. It can be hard for senior executives to support change to digital workflows: they need a sound business case to back up their actions.
- Reach more readers. The market for accessible content is large.The spending power of disabled people and their household continues to increase and you could be reaching this important market. It is worth getting hold of some relevant statistics for your own market.
- Comply with the law. Legally, you will find that many markets require digital content to be accessible. For example, from June 2025 any ebooks sold in the EU market will need to comply with the European Accessibility Act. Working on this at the beginning of your workflow means that accessibility will just become one of the many building blocks that make up your digital content. Consider the legal requirements that we have recorded for many countries.
- Meet procurement requirements. With accessible content becoming necessary for many institutions, it makes good business sense to ensure you can be included in education contracts.
- Enhance your image. Business reputations are greatly improved by creating products and services that are accessible to people with disabilities. Ethically and morally, it is the right thing to do.
- Make better ebooks. Accessible EPUBs contain not just the text of a book, but semantic information and metadata. Having high quality EPUB files creates a richer digital archive and legacy of your works, and makes any future necessary transformation into new formats less costly and difficult, with far greater possibility for automation. Better ebooks will improve their longevity in the marketplace and by including accessibility features within your content, you will enhance the user experience for everyone, leading to more sales and improved learning outcomes.
- Impact the supply chain. Accessibility will have a positive impact throughout the supply chain. A well structured EPUB won’t be rejected by any vendor and if it meets certification standards it will sail into the marketplace without a hiccup. They may even get privileged positioning within the marketplace.
- Promote your good work. When you have ensured your publications are accessible then declare this using accessibility metadata to give yourself a competitive edge with enhanced search engine discoverability to attract new users to your content.