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Accessibility to Feature at Digital Book World, 2018

Digital Book World Conference Logo

The popular mainstream publishing and technology conference, Digital Book World, is scheduled to return this year with a new focus and an exciting program. Accessible publishing will feature in Nashville as well as other publishing hot topics and DAISY are delighted to be be playing a significant role at the conference.  The session entitled “Building Accessibility Into Publishing Workflows: From The Ground Up” will be delivered by DAISY speakers and the Consortium will also play an advisory role in the creation of an Achievement in Accessibility in Publishing Award to be presented at the awards ceremony.

For details of the full announcement visit https://www.digitalbookworld.com/single-post/2018/01/15/The-DAISY-Consortium-joins-forces-with-Digital-Book-World-to-talk-accessibility

Typefi User Conference, Brighton

March 22nd to 23rd, 2018

The Typefi User Conference offers Typefi users, partners and staff an opportunity to network, share best practices, and learn from each other. If you’re considering adopting Typefi as your automated publishing solution, this is an excellent chance to see the platform in action and talk to other users.

Of particular interest is the morning workshop on the 22nd of March on Accessible Publishing which will include an introduction to accessibility, as well as in-depth presentations and conversations with experts in accessible publishing. If you want to understand why accessibility is important, and how to build standards-compliant accessibility features right into your publishing workflows without increasing composition costs then this session is for you!

Date

22nd-23rd March, 2018

Venue

Brighton, U.K.

Learn More

Funka Accessibility Days, Stockholm

April 17th to 18th, 2018

Funka Accessibility Days is northern Europe’s largest conference on accessible ICT. As usual, an exciting program awaits delegates with specific focus this year on the new international WCAG 2.1 standard  and the latest W3C developments regarding standards and tools for accessible technology, design and content.

”Meet the expert” is a successful part of the program where you have the opportunity to book a master class with Funkas’ experts in smaller rooms, during the event. You can choose to pose your questions to a developer, a designer, a language expert, a requirements specialist, an assistive technology expert or an over all accessibility professional – and get answers and recommendations on the spot.

Date

April 17th – 18th, 2018

Venue

Stockholm, Sweden

Learn More

https://www.funka.com/en/we-offer/funka-accessibility-days/

W3C News – Synchronized Multimedia for Publications Community Group Proposal

Marisa DeMeglio, software developer for The DAISY Consortium, has proposed creation of a new group  working on a way to “synchronize audio or video with Web Publications and other document formats being developed by the Publishing Working Group, in order to make the publications accessible to people with different types of reading requirements.”  For more information on this and details of how to support this proposal visit:


 

Ensuring the Accessibility of all Learning Content

Photograph of Rick Johnson, author of this articleRick Johnson, Vice President of Product Strategy at Vital Source has written an incisive article for the latest issue of Research information, focusing on what is required during this time of “dramatic change” for accessibility in learning content. Read the full article on their website

https://www.researchinformation.info/news/analysis-opinion/ensuring-accessibility-all-learning-content.

Rick Johnson will be presenting a number of sessions at the CSUN Assitive Technology Conference in March 2018 with George Kerscher, Chief Innovations Officer within the DAISY Consortium.

33rd CSUN Assistive Technology Conference, San Diego

March 19th to 23rd, 2018

The CSUN Assistive Technology Conference will be held in March this year and it promises to be as exceptional as ever. More than 5,000 people gathered last year in San Diego to explore new technology designed to assist people with disabilities.​ Registration is now open!

Date

March 19-23, 2018

Venue

San Diego, California

Learn More

For further information visit the conference site at:  http://www.csun.edu/cod/conference/2018/sessions/index.php/public/website_pages/view/1

 

EDRLab Webinar – Accessibility and EPUB 3: November 28th, 2017

November 28th, 2017

Since November 2016 EDRLab has gradually invested in the field of accessibility: production, certification, distribution and uses, all essential topics for a natively accessible ecosystem is emerging in France and elsewhere around the EPUB 3 format. Fernando Pinto da Silva (EDRLab) will be hosting a webinar dedicated to accessibility on the 28th of November. For further information visit the EDRLab website at https://www.edrlab.org/2017/10/20/webinaire-accessibilite-et-epub-3/.

NB: this webinar will be in French

Venue: – Online or via telephone

Date: 28th November, 2017

Time – 15.00 – 16.00 CEST

Reports from the W3C Publishing Summit

W3C logoThe annual W3C TPAC meeting this year was held in San Francisco last week and included, for the first time, the W3C Publishing Summit held over 2 days with a lively and informative program aimed at learning how web technologies are shaping publishing today, tomorrow, and beyond. This was particularly significant as it is the first major event that the newly formed Publishing@W3C has held since the merger of IDPF and W3C earlier this year.

The DAISY Consortium were delighted to take part in their session entitled: Accessibility in Publishing and the W3C, which gave us the opportunity to demonstrate Ace, by DAISY, the accessibility software tool currently in phase 2 of its beta release and due for general release towards the end of this year. Romain Deltour, lead developer on the Ace project, ran the real time demonstration with George Kerscher, Avneesh Singh (DAISY) and Judy Brewer (W3C) also taking part.

The panel emphasized that EPUB 3 is a “rock solid” standard for accessibility and that conformance to EPUB Accessibility 1.0 will become increasingly important for publishers. Ace has been developed based upon this specification together with the WCAG standard and can be incorporated into other certification processes as is being done by Benetech already.

Whilst this session was devoted exclusively to accessibility it is significant that most other sessions over the two day program singled out the needs and challenges of accessibility as a major and central part of their work in digital publishing today. Abhay Parashus, CTO at Adobe, set the stage early on:

“If our mission is to tell amazing stories for the world we cannot add an asterisk for only certain people to express stories……. For us accessibility is not a checklist item. If we truly believe in the mission of the company then it’s a differentiator.”

With so much support for our work, these are exciting times for Inclusive Publishing

“Access to information is a fundamental human right. We are working to make sure that standards and technologies support that access.” – George Kerscher

Event Report Round-Up

A number of detailed event reports have been published since the event and we recommend these to everyone interested in Inclusive Publishing:

Digital Publishers Find Shared Purpose at W3C Publishing Summit – an overview in Publishers Weekly by Jason Boog

W3C Publishing Summit 2017: An Ebook Dev’s View – a guest post for epubsecrets.com written by Teresa Elsey from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Publishing Working Group TPAC Summary 2017 – by Tzviya Siegman, Wiley Info Standards Lead and W3C Publishing WG chair

EDRLab and the W3C Publishing Summit – by Laurent LeMeur. This piece includes slides froms Laurent’s presentation at the summit

As slides become available from the conference we will post them here:

Jen Simmons on How New CSS is Changing Everything About Graphic Design on the Web

 

Inclusion Promised as the Default Publishing Standard in Australia

This article was kindly submitted by Greg Alchin, Inclusive Design Specialist and Accessibility Advocate in the Australian Publishing industry.

Delegates seated in discussion at the Publishing Forum in AustraliaOn the 2nd November 2017, the Australian Publishing Association (APA) hosted the “Marrakesh Treaty Forum II”. This Forum brings together representatives of the publishing industry, authors, libraries, copyright, disability associations, government and accessible format providers for a far-reaching exchange of information and ideas to progress the Marrakesh Treaty’s implementation in Australia. Australia was an early signatory to the
treaty which encourages governments to allow books to be converted to accessible formats without having to obtain permission from copyright owners every time.

The purpose of the Forum is to identify the key challenges in ensuring that published material is accessible to the print disabled and to identify the pathways to address those challenges. The 2017 Forum saw updates on industry projects to advance not only the implementation of the Marrakesh Treaty but to move to a default model of inclusive publishing where equity of experience is available for all.

The Business Case

A clear appreciation of the need for inclusive publishing was impressed upon participants and agreed to. Understanding the demographics of disability within the market makes good business sense. For many their understanding of disability is based upon a misconception that disability is just a personal health attribute. It is embedded in the stereotypical images of people in wheelchairs, deafness and blindness. It may be caused by accident, trauma, genetics or disease. It may also be total or partial, lifelong or acquired, visible or invisible.

A more nuanced understanding of disability has developed in recent years. Disability is no longer seen as just a personal attribute or health experience. Disability is context dependent.  It is, as the World Health Organisation states, “a complex phenomenon, reflecting the interaction between features of a person’s body and features of the society in which he or she lives.” What this means, is that disability happens at the points of interaction between a person and the context in which they find themselves.  Mismatched interactions result in a loss of ability to participate and interact and result in exclusion.  Consider the following examples:

  • Individuals with an ear infection may experience a temporary hearing disability.
  • The environment of a noisy bar or hotel may result in patrons experiencing a situational hearing disability when they try to interact and be understood over background noise.
  • Individuals with a wrist injury / broken arm have a temporary physical disability.
  • New parents attempting to complete tasks whilst holding an infant experience a situational physical disability

Being mindful of the continuum from permanent to situational disabilities helps us to reconsider the number of people who experience disability on a daily basis. The benefits of designing publications that are “Born Accessible” from the start are undeniable.

The Legal Position in Australia

Furthermore, there is a range of international mandates and national legislation that supports the case for “Born Accessible” content. Equal access to information in Australia is:

It is important to note that all of the above legislative and professional requirements either directly or indirectly reference the W3C’s technology neutral  Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0).

Inclusive Publishing as the Default Publishing Standard

There was a lot of genuine good will and positive energy in the room from all parties. The forum agreed inclusion should be the default publishing standard in Australia and that by no later than December 2021 there will be:

  • high community and business awareness of the value of accessible content
  • seamless discoverability of accessible formats
  • inclusion as the default standard
  • Full implementation of accessibility standards by APA members
  • equitable and sustainable economic model

Next Steps

The Forum agreed to progress the following projects over the next 12 months in order to achieve these exciting new objectives:

  • accessibility fields to be agreed for both Title Page (the industry look up service) and Trove (the repository run but the National Library of Australia).
  • copyright guidelines to be finalised, made widely available and training to be underway
  • publish a plain English guide to accessibility standards
  • APA to inform publishers about accessibility standards
  • APA publishers to review workflow practices and how to implement accessibility
  • develop a shared messaging on “inclusive by design” and “equity of reading experience”

Chief executive of the Australian Publishers’ Association Michael Smith-Gordon added his support commenting that making content accessible at the outset made better economic sense than ”retro fitting” books once published with digital add-ons.

 

Editors note: Thanks to Greg Alchin for this article. We look forward to seeing how things progress with this ground-breaking initiative.

Linda Morris of The Sydney Morning Herald has written Book of the Future is a choose-your-own-adventure on events at the forum in Australia.

Australian ABC Radio broadcast this interview on the Marrakesh Treaty on the 4th of December 2017.

If you have an Inclusive Publishing story to share, feel free to contact us.

ABC International Excellence Award – Seeking Nominations

The Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) International Excellence Award, to be given at London Book Fair 2018, is now open for nominations. ABC aims to increase the number of books worldwide in accessible formats, and make them available to people who are print disabled; the ABC International Excellence Award, given at LBF, recognizes outstanding leadership and achievement in advancing the accessibility of commercial e-books or other digital publications.

Two awards will be presented, one to a publisher and one for an initiative.  You can nominate your own organisation or a third party anywhere in the world, and nominations are encouraged from those based in developing or least developed countries.  The submissions deadline is Friday 26th January 2018, and the awards will be given on Tuesday 10th April 2018.  Click through for full detail and a submission form.