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Finalists Announced for the 2019 ABC International Excellence Awards

The short-list for the 2019 ABC International Excellence Awards for Accessible Publishing has now been published and the winners will be announced at the awards ceremony  on March 12, 2019 at the London Book Fair. Our congratulations to all the finalists who are:

Publishers Award

  • Argentina—Ediciones Godot
  • Brazil—EDITORIAL 5 (ED5)
  • United Kingdom—Kogan Page Ltd.

Initiative Award

  • Botswana—Companies and Intellectual Property Authority
  • Canada—BC Libraries Cooperative, National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS)
  • Canada—Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA)
  • Italy—Fondazione LIA
  • Kenya—eKitabu

Full details of these awards can be found at the Accessible Books Consortium website 

Accessibility in EPUBs—Kobo Writing Life Podcast

Kobo Writing Life, Kobo’s self-publishing platform, produces a regular podcast for authors to learn more about the industry. In January’s episode they covered accessibility in an interview with QA Analyst Wendy Reid, discussing what accessibility means for ebooks and easy ways to implement it. Authors interested in making accessible EPUB files were advised to focus on creating EPUB 3 files with good semantic tagging and alt text. The episode includes recommendations for resources, including the popular #eprdctn group on Twitter. The discussion also covered the launch of audiobooks at Kobo, and Wendy’s work on an upcoming specification for audiobooks.

To access this excellent podcast visit the Kobo Writing Life website

Accessible Publishing Summit—A Triumph for NNELS

Sign saying" Accessible Publishing=Good Publishing"Inclusive Publishing had the pleasure of attending the Accessible Publishing Summit on the 28th and 29th January in Toronto, possibly one of the snowiest cities to be in at the beginning of the week. Despite the hazardous weather the turn out was incredible and interested parties from all relevant stakeholder groups attended with buckets of enthusiasm, excitement and expertise.

The summit was organized by NNELS, the National Network for Equitable Library Service in Canada and representatives from the ebook production and distribution chain (authors, editors, designers, publishers, distributors, librarians, and alternate-format producers) were invited to help develop a set of best practices and techniques for accessible publishing relevant to their community.

Flip chart page listing the challenges and solutions that the NNELS testers identified in their sessionThe agenda was jam packed and we were treated to a fabulous demonstration session on the first morning from the group of print impaired testers who work for NNELS—what an insight! Each table of delegates experienced a different set of reading choices made by their demonstrator using the DAISY Fundamental Accessibility Tests for Reading Systems. With a huge variety of results which depend on every part of the supply chain we were able to see, first hand, just how frustrating the process can be for readers and how amazing it can be when everything goes well.

The chart shown above identifies the following challenges and solutions which were highlighted in this session:

Challenges

  • Lack of semantic tags e.g. headings for navigation
  • Lack of page numbers
  • Broken or incomplete table of contents
  • Images without a useful description in alt
  • EPUB 2 format still used
  • Fixed Layout
  • Discoverability

Solutions

  • Use Valid HTML tage
  • Reflowable text can change the font
  • Accessible Metadata to enable discovery
  • Universal design

Interested stakeholders then took to the floor in the afternoon to tell the crowd a little bit about their side of the story and Inclusive Publishing was pleased to be invited to take part in this session, highlighting the good work that is happening internationally and how we’ve created a resource and information sharing hub.

In stakeholder groups we discussed the assets, challenges and opportunities for accessible ebooks culminating in our top choices which we shared with all delegates. This gave a framework for the beginning of day two where we started to work on recommendations for the industry. The rest of the day was spent refining these action points, discussing exhilarating new ideas and identifying immediate next steps for all involved. Lots of interesting ideas are on the table and this group is going to be looking at the challenges that still face us from all angles—from involving accessibility testers much earlier in the content creation process to creating guidance templates for publishers to customize for their own organization. From discussions regarding internships for accessibility to how we might establish a certification process for accessible publishing in Canada, it was broad ranging and all-encompassing.

"What does accessibility mean to us"- list of ideas from delegatesEnthusiasm remained key throughout the whole process and I think if we had had the option to remain at the Toronto Public Library for another day we would have done despite the risk of being snowed in! It is rare to experience such a powerful surge of commitment to a project and our thanks must go to the organizing team from NNELS and to Laura Brady for putting so many dynamic and proactive people together. It was a triumph and we are very excited to see how we progress.

 

 

For further information on the summit, it’s agenda and how you can get involved please visit accessiblepublishing.ca and join in the good work!

 

Accessible Publishing and the Marrakesh Treaty – Are You Ready?

March 14th, 2019

The Marrakesh Treaty allows for copyright exceptions to facilitate the creation of accessible versions of books and other copyrighted works for visually impaired persons. It sets a norm for countries ratifying the treaty to have a domestic copyright exception covering these activities, and allowing for the import and export of such materials. The treaty has now entered into force in the UK and changes to the UK’s Copyright Law have been made which publishers will need to comply with. 

This session will briefly explain these legal changes and the obligations to publishers alongside showcasing best practice from publishers and other organisations on how to ensure your publishing processes are compliant with the new law.  We will also hear from a representative from “Inclusive Publishing” announcing the results of their recent survey on the progress we have made as a global industry in our work towards publications that can be enjoyed by all readers. 

This session is aimed at publishers and distributors of content. Whilst the session will focus on the UK law, the principles of the Marrakesh Treaty will be applicable to WIPO member countries and therefore the case studies will be relevant to all publishers worldwide. 

The annual Accessibility Action Group Seminar at the London Book Fair is suitable for everyone in the book industry who is involved in producing good quality ebooks and bringing them to their readers. No registration is required and the AAG welcomes everyone at the fair.

Date

March 14, 2019, 2.30-3.30pm

Venue

The Faculty at The London BookFair 

 

Accessible Publishing Summit

January 28th to 29th, 2019

The Accessible Publishing Summit invites stakeholders in the ebook production and distribution chain (authors, editors, designers, publishers, distributors, librarians, and alternate-format producers) to help develop, compile, and distribute a set of best practices and techniques for accessible publishing relevant to their community. This event is being organized by NNELS, the National Network for Equitable Library Service, a digital public library of books for Canadians with print disabilities

Date

January 28-29, 2019

Venue

Toronto, Canada

Learn More

All documentation created will be made publicly available on the summit website.

Born Accessible Content Checker from Germany’s Central Library for the Blind

BACC logoThe DAISY Planet has published a useful update on the Born Accessible Content Checker from DZB in Germany. Using the Ace by DAISY accessibility checking tool, BACC is a web application which allows publishers and publishing service providers to check the compliance of ebooks in the EPUB format. To read more about this initiative from the German Central Library for the Blind you can access DAISY’s article in the Planet Newsletter.

Inclusive Publishing Readers Discount Code for ebookcraft 2019

Inclusive Publishing readers can get 10% off tickets to ebookcraft and Tech Forum 2019, March 18-19 in Toronto, by using the promo code DAISY10. Take a look at the schedule to see the lineup so far and watch out for DAISY sessions which will be announced soon. The last day for early-bird pricing is Jan. 25 and registration closes on March 12.

See the ebookcraft events page for further details and book your place now!

BookMachine Unplugged. The Business of Accessibility: Content that is More Usable is More Valuable

February 20th, 2019

As well as the obvious ethical and now legal requirements to make sure our books, ebooks and content is accessible there are also sound business reasons. Yet why are so many publishers still not achieving fully accessible products? The panel will examine the standards, legislation and technical issues that companies of all size face. They will provide straightforward answers to what you need to do to be accessible as well as why and how you can make it happen. Speakers include:

  • Ken Jones—Circular Software
  • Huw Alexander—textBOX
  • Stacy Rowe—RNIB
  • Alicia Wise—Elsevier
  • Alistair McNaught—JISC

Following a Q&A session with the panel, the talks will close with a short awards ceremony. The ASPIRE awards are given in recognition of the work being done in the industry on accessibility by top publishers and vendors.

Date

February 20, 2019

Venue

The Century Club, London

Learn More

For program and registration information visit the event page on the bookmachine website

Inclusive Publishing—End of Year Review

Head shot of Richard Orme, CEO of the DAISY ConsortiumIt’s been a busy year for Inclusive Publishing and, as we look forward to 2019, Richard Orme, CEO of the DAISY Consortium, reflects on some of this year’s successes for accessible publishing and our industry.

As an industry hub and news portal, InclusivePublishing.org has seen and reported on some major advancements in 2018. Our own Ace by DAISY tool launched in January giving the industry, for the first time, an EPUB accessibility checking tool which has now become invaluable to many in-house workflows. Open source and free, Ace by DAISY can be integrated at any point in the creative process and has immediately become one of the essential EPUB building blocks for publishers and vendors. We are thrilled to report that a version of the Ace tool with a graphical user interface will be available early next year and we will, of course, keep you posted!

We’ve been pleased to report on some terrific events this year as accessibility becomes a major focus for publishers worldwide. In March we presented the Ace tool at ebookcraft in Toronto. The London Book Fair in April saw the 10th Annual Accessibility Action Group seminar focus on Strategies for Success and we were proud to stand alongside other industry stalwarts on the podium. June saw our DAISY Symposium entitled Building Bridges for Better Access, which focused on the accessible study materials.

In October we covered the new-look Digital Book World  and we were delighted to play a major role at this exciting event. We are already looking forward to next year! And the Accessing Higher Ground conference in November was a huge opportunity to hear from a wide variety of publishers about the strides towards inclusive publishing practices.

The DAISY Consortium now maintains and develops EPUBCheck, the conformance validator for the EPUB format. We rounded off the year by reporting on the release of version 4.1. EPUBCheck is overseen by the W3C and funded by generous contributions from across the digital publishing landscape.

We’ve been very lucky to work with some top-quality authors this year and our thanks go to all of them for their contributions and news updates. From event reports to opinion pieces, we’ve been fortunate to be able to publish some terrific pieces of extremely high quality.  In addition, we have been delighted with the response to our new interview pieces: Inspiring Words from Industry Leaders. Our interviewees are indeed an inspiration and we will be adding to this stellar line-up in 2019.

Accessibility has been a common thread in conversations across the publishingindustry for quite a few years now, but from anecdotal evidence 2018 appears to mark the start of something special—widespread mainstream adoption of accessibility. This reflects the changes we have seen and supported in accessible content creation and validation, but also throughout the supply chain, with a positive impact on education services, reading systems and the metadata which makes the whole process function.

It’s very important to us that we continue to support the wider industry on this journey towards inclusive publishing, and with this in mind, we have created a short end of year survey so that we may take a snapshot of our community.  We’d be very grateful if you could spare a few minutes to complete the survey (now closed) and to help us gauge where we are, and also to report to you all on how we are progressing as an industry. Our thanks to all those who have completed this already—we look forward to sharing the anonymous results with you all soon.

We look towards 2019 with perhaps more optimism and enthusiasm than previous years. It has been wonderful to see how the industry has responded to our InclusivePublishing website and newsletter, and we hope that you will all continue to support us—we rely on your input and are very grateful for it. There are some exciting developments we look forward to sharing with you next year, and we will continue to publish both technical and non-technical information to cater for all our readers in this way.

We wish you all a very peaceful holiday and we look forward to an exciting year ahead.

French National Accessible Digital Book Meeting

January 17th, 2019

After the success of the France’s National Day on Access to Books and Reading: Let’s Find Solutions Together , BrailleNet, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Book and Reading and The National School of Sciences of the World and libraries (Enssib) join forces again to organize the first National Accessible Digital Book Meeting.

With lectures in the morning and practical workshops in the afternoon, publishing professionals will be able to:

  • stay informed about industry developments to extend accessibility to all
  • become familiar with and / or improve their knowledge of digital accessibility
  • share their experiences and expectations

The event is aimed at all book and reading professionals and includes a session entitled: Ace by Example where Luc Audrain (Hachette Livre) and Fernando Pinto (EDRLab) will look at what the Ace by DAISY tool can test for and at the consequences of nonconformities for the reader.

Date

January 17, 2019

Venue

Enssib, Villerbanne, France

Learn More