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Benetech Establishes Global Certified Accessible Program

Benetech, the leading software for social good nonprofit, in conjunction with Dedicon, Royal National Institute of Blind People, and Vision Australia, announced Global Certified Accessible.

This program is the first third-party ebook verification program for accessible content. Global Certified Accessible supports publisher efforts to meet or exceed accessibility requirements set by K-12 schools and post-secondary institutions. This announcement comes on the heels of a six-month beta program with participation from industry leaders spanning educational, academic, professional, and trade publications.

Global Certified Accessible ensures students unable to read standard print due to blindness, low vision, dyslexia, or a physical disability have equal access to the same content as their peers.

The program has a global footprint in order to serve students around the world. Benetech developed the certification standards and serves as the lead certification provider for North America.

More information is provided on the Benetech website.

The Future of Accessible Publishing: EPUB 3

The Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) has launched its re-branded “ABC Global Book Service” (formerly TIGAR Service) that enables libraries for the blind in different countries to exchange books in accessible formats. At the same time, ABC also encourages the production of “born accessible” books.

Accessible EPUB 3 is the “gold standard” in the publishing industry for the production of accessible digital books as publishers can:

  • use the accessibility features of the EPUB 3 standard for the production of digital publications;
  • include descriptions of the accessibility features of their products in the information they provide to retailers and others in the book supply chain.

If its accessibility features are used correctly, EPUB 3 allows for the creation of an electronic file that can be used to produce accessible digital books in various formats, for example:

  • an audio book with a synthesized voice (text-to-speech);
  • embossed braille; or
  • electronic braille (braille read on a computer or a portable device).

More information is available on the ABC website.