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Inclusive Publishing 2021 Annual Review

Profile head shot of Richard OrmeIt’s been a busy year for InclusivePublishing. As we look forward to 2022, Richard Orme, CEO of The DAISY Consortium, reflects on some of this year’s successes for accessible publishing.

As an industry hub and news portal, InclusivePublishing.org has continued to share and report on events, projects and news items in 2021. In particular, the ongoing success of the DAISY webinar series has drawn much attention internationally and we have been proud to feature the overviews and resources from these sessions on inclusive publishing. With many of the webinars featuring practical demos and workshop style examples, there is something for everyone at whatever stage of their accessibility journey they find themselves. EVIDENCE WITH SOME NUMBERS HERE TO MAKE IT MORE CONCRETE

Inclusive Publishing has been delighted to welcome the following new organizations to the Inclusive Publishing Partner program:

Our network of partners is ever-growing and we welcome interest from all sectors of the publishing industry who we can support in their accessibility journey. We’d love to discuss our Inclusive Publishing Partner program with you so do get in touch if you would like to support our work and collaborate on your own accessibility journey.  

2021 saw the release of The User Guide to Displaying Accessibility Metadata in which we were pleased to play an integral developmental role. This simple and easy to follow guide will assist the user in making sure that their content is discoverable by those with accessibility access requirements. There are still many publishers doing all the good work and not telling people about it! 

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. Our European Accessibility Act case studies are a prime example of this, giving our readers insight into the preparations being made for this important legislation and offering tips on lessons learned. 

We’ve managed to participate in many online sessions over the past 12 months and we are amazed at how the “virtual event” has developed over the course of the pandemic. In addition, we published an at-home toolkit for the occasion of GAAD 2021 (Global Accessibility Awareness Day) and were pleased to report on many industry events that took place online to celebrate this important occasion. 

DAISY hosted the the annual Accessibility Action Group seminar which usually takes place at The London Book Fair. This year we presented the seminar as part of our webinar series and were thrilled with the international interest for this session which was entitled: The Essentials for Accessible Publishing in 2021. The stellar line-up of speakers gave a quick-fire round up of the top 5 must haves for today’s publishers and you can still access the recording, slides and resources for this event.

Work continues on the tools, solutions and projects that are so important to our friends and members:

to name but a few. You can read about our progress in these areas by signing up to the Inclusive Publishing newsletter which is published on a monthly basis and will make sure that you don’t miss out on our latest news. 

It’s very important to us that we continue to support the wider industry on their journey towards inclusivepublishing and we look towards 2022 with perhaps more optimism and enthusiasm than previous years. There are some exciting developments we will be sharing with you in the coming months 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 healthy and successful year ahead. 

Richard Orme

Creating and Editing Accessible EPUB (W)

Title slide: Creating and Editing Accessible EPUBIn our series of free weekly webinars November 17th saw a session focused on “Creating and Editing Accessible EPUB”. This webinar follows our previous session on Validating and Conformance Checking EPUBs.

This page contains:

Full Video of the Webinar

Speakers

  • Dawn Evans, AccessText Network—host and chair
  • Richard Orme, DAISY Consortium
  • Amit Verma, InDesign Trainer
  • Marianne Gulstad, Publizon

Session Overview

Dawn Evans introduced today’s session by explaining how the panel of experts would guide us through a journey from content creation in mainstream tools and conversion processes, to how the resulting EPUB can be edited and amended to deliver accessible content for use by anyone.

Workflow Options for Accessible EPUB

InDesign

Amit discussed how to produce accessible content using InDesign:

  • Why and When to Use InDesign. InDesign is used by content creators to produce both print and digital publications. Once you have converted your InDesign file to EPUB there are a number of modifications that can be made to improve the overall accessibility of the content.
  • How to Use Accessible EPUBs with InDesign. Very often we hear that InDesign does not produce good EPUB files but if certain steps are followed, much of this can be avoided: use well-defined styles, anchor the images at the correct places, add ALT text to images and define the layout order using the story or articles panel, generate a well-defined TOC, insert chapter breaks and last but not least, making sure that the content structure is well defined with the correct HTML mapping headings. Watch the webinar recording to see examples of these.
  • InDesign + Circular Software. At this point in the webinar, Richard Orme conducted a brief interview with Ken Jones, Founder and Director of Circular Software to hear what he has been working on to make this process easier. The “no code accessibility” tools that Circular software has developed assist with the export of InDesign to accessible EPUB, making this a much easier process for users.

PressBooks, Hederis: Web-Based Services

Richard talked us through both of these platforms, with consideration given to the accessibility support offered and how he found the experience. Both platforms fared well in his assessments and it’s worth checking out both in the recording or transcript for details.

Google Docs, Apple Pages, Word: Word Processing Options

Richard discussed these options and the accessibility support they offer, emphasizing that in all cases it is vital to start with a well-structured document. Google Docs offers a “nearly valid” EPUB with some limitations which were outlined. Sadly an EPUB generated from Google Docs is not really fit for purpose in terms of accessibility.

Using Apple Pages resulted in “valid” EPUB. There are some missing elements but overall it is fairly clean.

And finally, Microsoft Word using WordToEPUB which also produces “valid” EPUB with the option to include many other accessibility features on top of the basic set including being able to integrate quality assurance tools to check accessibility (such as Ace by DAISY).

Editing EPUB to Improve Accessibility

Marianne Gulstad described the two ways to edit EPUBs:

  1. you can unzip the EPUB container and use any editing tool to change the text before using a specialist tool to rezip the EPUB archive.
  2. or you make life easier and use an EPUB editor. There are a number of EPUB editors that can open, edit and save edits such as Sigil, Calibre, Oxygen, Scrivener, Jutoh and Blue Griffon. Marianne took a close look at Sigil giving lots of examples and demos and showing how this editor can be used to check the EPUB using EPUBCheck.

Related Resources

EPUB testing

InDesign Resources

Web-based EPUB Production Services

Note: many other web-based EPUB conversion and production tools exist, this is not a comprehensive list or an endorsement of these services over others.

GrackleDocs – Google Docs accessibility plugin

Desktop EPUB Production Tools

Useful Sigil Tutorials

Discover the other webinars we’re running!

EAA Case Study: Germany

The European flag with an icon of The Brandenburg Gate in the centerThe European Accessibility Act has galvanized many European countries and The DAISY Consortium has been pleased to take part in many interesting and collaborative conversations with partners, members and interested parties.

Each country has their own story and their own unique set of experiences in approach to the EAA and we are attempting to capture some of these in our new series of case studies. The more we can share and learn from each other, the better prepared we hope everyone will be.

Germany

This case study looks at some of the work underway in Germany where The EAA has already been transposed into national law. We spoke with Dana Minnemann from dzb lesen, the German centre for Accessible Reading, and Kristina Kramer from Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels, the German Publishers and Booksellers Association, 2 organizations who are very connected with their accessible publishing focus. Germany is one of the first countries to produce a text for implementation from the Federal Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs (Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales) 

The publishing landscape in Germany is large and varied with digital publishing seeing something of a boom recently which has helped to turn publisher’s attention towards the accessibility of their digital content. Awareness surrounding accessible publishing has been influenced by the mandatory legislation although many publishers remain unaware about how to implement accessibility within their current workflows and are looking for guidance in this area.  The STM sector is probably the furthest ahead in their accessibility journey but is fair to say that the industry, as a whole feels, a new sense of responsibility. 

In Germany EPUB 3 is used extensively in the trade fiction market and a born accessible content checker is used in conjunction with these files which is an adaptation of the Ace by DAISY EPUB checker. Plans are to switch over to the mainstream Ace checker. The German publishing industry supports and closely follows the work done by FEP and The Lia Foundation in advocating for the use of EPUB 3 and this has helped to build awareness. 

Industry Task Force 

In December 2020 a Task Force was convened to bring together approximately 30 experts who meet every 6-8 weeks to discuss next steps, concepts for seminars, training courses and webinars. The task force concentrates on articulating the needs of each sector and includes participants from each area of publishing together with colleagues from Austria and Switzerland (both German-speaking markets). The task force works on a collaborative approach for all areas of the industry. 

The task force has produced industry documentation in German and these are housed in an accessibility area on the Publishers Association website alongside links to material that has been developed by other international partners. Guidelines such as a checklist for EPUB 3, together with best practice reports will be available on this site. 

The Publishers Association has close connections with international partners such as Federation of European Publishers, the International Publishers Association and the Accessible Books Consortium.  

Challenges Ahead 

For the German market there are a number of challenges that Dana and Kristina foresee in the future: 

  • Funding: dzb lesen and Börsenverein have applied for financial support from the Federal Ministry in order to be able to develop further training and seminars. 
  • The Backlist – questions over how to handle accessibility for legacy content remain and it is currently unclear as to whether publishers will be required to attend to this content and how this might be achieved. Costs surrounding this are also a concern. 
  • The text itself in the EAA directive is, at times, unclear and there are quite a few open questions that exist which may affect the recommendations that the task force are making. In particular, questions over how detailed alt text needs to be for specialist content has caused uncertainty amongst members. Where questions like this arise, the task force tends to refer back to guidance from the DAISY Consortium. 
  • Awareness around accessibility in the workflow and how to cater to the many different types of workflow that are utilized will be a challenge moving forward, but the task force are tackling this. 
  • Metadata and what exactly needs to be filled in by the publisher  

Final Thoughts for Other Publishers 

The time is golden right now 

Kristina urged all publishers to seize the moment and to treat the EAA has a huge opportunity for change 

Both organizations involved in this case study have commented that their collaboration and connection in this project has been fundamental for the successful implementation of the EAA in this market.  

Our thanks to Dana and Kristina for their collaboration on this case-study. If you are interested in the work being done in the German market or would be interested in taking part in a similar case-study please contact us for further information.   

Resources and Links 

Circular Software Launches New Accessibility Tools

UK company, Circular Software, has announced the launch of new tools as part of their range of software to help with the creation of accessible InDesign files. Use of this software is free of charge and offers a “no code” approach for users.

Read the recently published article by Ken Jones, Director of Circular Software

Ask The Accessibility Experts: Send Us Your Questions!

The DAISY webinar series has been a huge success and our final webinar of 2021 on December 15 will be a special “Ask The Accessibility Experts” session to give you the opportunity to ask our assembled team of experts any outstanding questions you may have.

You are welcome to bring your questions to the webinar itself but to help us organize questions into themes, and to ensure we have the appropriate experts on hand, we encourage you to send them in advance to: webinars@daisy.org. Questions on all aspects of accessible reading and publishing are welcome. You can expect this session to cover a broad range of topics and we look forward to hearing from you.

To register for this event:
https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Lvcn7hLtTd6674d9LQlw8w

Validating and Conformance of EPUB (W)

Title slide: Validating and Conformance Checking EPUB
In our series of free weekly webinars November 3rd saw a session focused on the validation and conformance of EPUB content. When using the EPUB format a few simple steps can help highlight any issues and guide you on the path to creating more usable and accessible content.

This page contains:

Full Video of the Webinar

Speakers

  • Richard Orme, DAISY Consortium—host and chair
  • George Kerscher, DAISY Consortium
  • James Yanchak, Taylor and Francis
  • Charles La Pierre, Benetech

Session Overview

Richard Orme introduced this session explaining that it’s not enough to create content in any format and simply hope it works on reading systems and that it can deliver accessibility. The three experts presenting this webinar looked at validating EPUB from their perspective angles.

What Is An Accessible EPUB?

Many publishers have switched to EPUB as their format of choice for their digital content workflow but, despite it being the format which offers the greatest opportunity for accessibility, some have missed the mark. By failing to include a table of contents, for example, or by not having a clear reading order, EPUB content was often disappointingly lacking in accessibility support. For an EPUB file to be accessible, the publisher must make the most of the features that the format offers.

An understanding of this together with knowledge of the legal requirements in your market are a good place to start an accessibility journey. Add to this an alignment with publishing and web standards and some technical research to provide a base of knowledge and publishers should be in a position to make the most of their EPUB workflow.

3rd Party Certification

Having a 3rd party certify your accessible content helps the publisher to navigate the standards and specifications and Charles La Pierre talked us through the Benetech Scheme, Global Certified Accessible (GCA), outlining the process required for a publisher to be certified. A score is attached and for content to be certified as Born Accessible, 80% is needed.

Developing Internal Standards

Internal standards help the publisher to narrow the technical landscape and make it relevant to their specific workflow. James Yanchak described how this is achieved at Taylor and Francis and explained how this has helped them to reach their accessibility goals. Any internal standard must adhere to the industry standard and it’s vital that training is offered to both in-house colleagues and external vendors.

Validating the EPUB

There are a number of tools which our panel recommended:

  • EPUBCheck – should be one of the first checks and if this is integrated into the workflow using the command line version then it becomes very straightforward.
  • Ace by DAISY – checks conformance of the EPUB to WCAG and offers a command-line version and a desktop version for one-off title checks
  • Ace SMART – to be used in conjunction with Ace and helps the user perform the manual checks that Ace identifies.
  • The DAISY Knowledge Base has been developed to help resolve accessibility issues and is constantly maintained.

All of these stages and checks are important to establish accessibility and “trust” in the end product. A reader needs to be able to trust the accessibility summary and metadata so that they can make the correct purchasing decisions.

Related Resources

Standards

Accessibility Criteria

Tools and Resources

Discover the other webinars we’re running!

Delivering a Beneficial and Accessible User Experience

Image of man using an ereader to access content.Consideration of the User Experience (UX) should be a crucial part of any design team’s road to launch, especially if the goal is to deliver a reading experience that is beneficial to all users. Digital accessibility and usability are vital factors in ensuring that a user can interact with content, delivering the same level of experience to everyone, regardless of their ability.

Being able to deliver a complete, satisfying and inclusive user experience should be integral to your organization’s content strategy where a focus on planning, creation, delivery, and governance of that content is paramount. The overarching benefits of an accessible user experience have significant advantages both for the reader and for your business and you should take action now to ensure that you are doing the right thing for your organization and your customers.

Banks, education institutions, and many other organizations are increasingly prioritizing accessibility initiatives in response to the growing demand for them in the digital space (in addition to legal requirements in many markets). Providing an accessible UX for customers and satisfying all of their access requirements is of the utmost importance.

For many this includes being able to access content with assistive technology (such as a screen reader). Having an understanding of how these technologies affect the UX is a great way to start the transformation of your content into something meaningful, useful for all and accessible.

Business Benefits

There are many business benefits to providing an accessible user experience, not least that it’s the right thing to do. These include:

  • Connecting with a larger audience. Approximately one billion people in the world, or 15% of the world’s population, experience some form of disability. Organizations are able to expand their audience by making sure that their content is accessible to all markets – a sure way for companies to increase profitability, and be able to grow their share of the market too.
  • Minimizing legal risks and ensuring compliance with accessibility standards. There are quite a few laws and regulations in place to address accessibility. Creating an accessible user experience will help an organization meet Section 508, ADA, AODA, WCAG 2.0 and other compliance standards.
  • Strengthening the organization’s brand and creating a strong sense of purpose. Many companies set out to create meaningful connections with their audience via an accessible user experience. This strengthens the company brand and contributes to ESG initiatives, in turn increasing the likelihood of attracting new ethically-driven users.

Companies looking to create accessible digital communications or documents can utilize solutions that convert content into an accessible format for those with disabilities, enabling access to content with feature parity.

Transforming the UX

There are a number of areas to consider in order to improve the UX you are delivering, not least making sure that your content is well structured and discoverable. Content that has a meaningful structure allows for full navigation and this, like many accessibility features, benefits all readers and gives everyone a richer experience. Users who rely on assistive technology to access content need a clear navigable structure that screen readers and other technologies can make sense of.

Treatment of images within the content is also crucial to the UX and supplying relevant alt text to accompany graphics will mean that print-disabled readers can learn and experience the image in the same way as everyone else. Your treatment of images and richer content will define how accessible your content is and whether the UX delivers.

These are just two areas that need consideration when thinking about delivering an accessible UX. InclusiveDocs has developed an innovative approach to delivering a complete user experience, offering a streamlined, cost-efficient alternative to manual remediation processes. The AI technology within the platform helps to build models adapted from the content, resulting in automated workflows, significant cost savings, and a consistent user experience. Accessibility feature options allow readers to display or access information specific to their user requirements.​

Transforming the UX allows organizations to reach their entire audience.

This article was prepared in collaboration with InclusiveDocs. InclusiveDocs offers conversion solutions for multiple forms of accessible documents, including EPUB and HTML, with added features such as text-to-speech. End-users can access content from any device connected to the internet, or read offline via fully accessible EPUBs. This solution is suitable for all organizations that publish digital content and want to make it accessible to all members of their audience.

As an Inclusive Publishing Partner of the DAISY Consortium, InclusiveDocs is helping to support our work to progress accessibility in all aspects of digital publishing and reading.

EAA Case Study: Finland

The EU flag with a landmark icon of Helsinki's cathedral placed in the middleThe European Accessibility Act has galvanized many European countries and The DAISY Consortium has been pleased to take part in many interesting and collaborative conversations with partners, members and interested parties.

Each country has their own story and their own unique set of experiences in approach to the EAA and we are attempting to capture some of these in our new series of case studies. The more we can share and learn from each other, the better prepared we hope everyone will be.  

Finland 

First up is Finland, a country with two official languages, Finnish and Swedish, and with a relatively small book market. We had the pleasure of speaking with Miia Kirsi from Celia who are integral to the Finnish approach to the EAA. Celia, the national library for accessible literature and publishing in Finland, works towards equality in reading and learning and belongs to the administrative sector of the Ministry of Education and Culture.  

Publishing houses in Finland tend to be small and, in accordance with the EAA, micro-enterprises are not necessarily required to adhere to the new legislation. The hope is that everyone will make the effort to comply, irrespective of their size.  Audio publishing, and consequently all forms of digital publishing, is experiencing something of a boom in Finland and in 2020 the ebook market represented 4500 titles.  Not bad for a population of just 5 million! 

With regards to accessibility, it is far to say that for many this is still an afterthought in Finland. Education publishers are probably furthest ahead because of accessibility requirements for students. Ironically, trade publishers, for whom the accessibility challenge is arguably the most straightforward, are not doing so well and publishers don’t tend to consider the user experience. 

Stakeholder Platforms and Industry Collaboration 

In Finland, various government ministries are responsible for the implementation of the EAA. To foster collaboration there have been intra-ministerial meetings to which all stakeholders have been invited  

Celia works hard with other stakeholders to address challenges and their close collaboration with The Finnish Publishers Association is particularly important.  On October 6th they are co-hosting a seminar “Accessible Ebooks: From Directive to Practice”. Together, both organizations are actively advocating for EPUB 3 and are looking for ways to provide training in this area.  

Celia also takes part in the Nordic Inclusive Publishing Initiative (NIPI) which meets twice a month to share information. The group has members from all five Nordic countries and organized an online accessibility conference Include! in November 2020. There are plans for another conference focusing on Inclusive Publishing for Spring 2023. 

Pilot Project to Assess Digital Files 

Of the 4500 digital titles produced in Finland annually, the majority are produced in EPUB 2 – something which Miia and her team explored during their Accessible EPUBs Pilot this year. The main goals of this project were: 

  • To assess the current accessibility status of EPUB files 
  • To gather information about typical EPUB workflows 
  • To identify risks and weaknesses in the production of accessible content  
  • To identify and develop materials that are needed 

It appears that publishers are not tending to specify EPUB 3 – many are used to working with print-based workflow models so aren’t inclined to change. That being said, many of the files that were examined for this project did include accessibility features and were more accessible than expected. All had some semantic markup and many of them included a Table of Contents. They weren’t “accessible” per se but a move towards EPUB 3 could hail great improvements.  

Other areas that need attention are: 

  • The use of accessibility metadata 
  • XHTML files need improving – correct use of language tags etc 
  • Inclusion of alt text 

What is apparent from this project is that the publishing industry in Finland still looks to the print version first with the digital version being an afterthought. Digital files are not given the same level of scrutiny as print PDFs are given. 

Challenges in this Market 

  • Post-production work for InDesign files needs attention 
  • Responsibility: everyone needs to take an element of responsibility throughout the publishing workflow 
  • Knowledge and Awareness needs improving  
  • Understanding of Tools and Solutions  

Implementation Plans and Resources 

The government has prepared an implementation plan: The National Implementation of the Accessibility Directive for Products and Services (provided here in Swedish for easier translation). This is an ongoing project looking at all areas of implementation within the Finnish market. 

The Finnish Publishers Association and Celia plan to collaborate on various fronts to help the publishing industry prepare for the requirements of the EAA, to find reliable resources and obtain information about accessible publishing in Finnish or Swedish, all to be made available on a website that will point users to the correct path. 

Top Tips for Other Publishers on their Accessibility Journey 

  • Use InDesign more effectively!  
  • Educate all departments within a publishing workflow about the role they need to play. 
  • Not all areas can necessarily be outsourced – awareness about accessibility needs to be addressed in-house also.
  • Metadata needs early attention and training for in-house staff on the importance of accessibility metadata is vital. 

Our thanks to Miia for her collaboration on this case study. If you are interested in the work being done by Celia in this area or would be interested in taking part in a similar case study please contact us for further information.  

Resources and Links 

EPUB Accessibility 101 (W)

EPUB Accessibility 101 Title SlideIn our series of free weekly webinars October 6th saw a session focused on EPUB Accessibility. Our speakers showed everyone what happens under the hood of an EPUB file to support accessibility and managed to demystify some of the technicalities surrounding EPUB.

This page contains:

Full Video of the Webinar

 

Speakers

  • Richard Orme, The DAISY Consortium—host and chair
  • Rachel Comerford, Macmillan Learning
  • Tzviya Siegman, J. Wiley and Sons

Session Overview

What is EPUB? The Basics

Rachel Comerford took us through some of the “acronym soup” that makes up an EPUB file, namely:

  • Mimetype – which tells the reading system being used that this is an EPUB file
  • META-INF – which points to the file and allows the reading system to find it
  • OEPS-OPS – containing the content and everything needed to display that content (including the CSS which describes how the book should look)

What is EPUB? Focus on HTML

The text of an EPUB publication is written in HyperText Mark-Up Language (HTML) and Tzviya Siegman explained to us the importance for accessibility of the native semantic elements that can be conveyed within the HTML. Every element in the HTML mark-up contains a meaning and greatly assists with content navigation and order of reading layout.

What is EPUB? Focus on DPUB-ARIA and epub:type

Sometimes content is more complex than the available HTML elements can cope with and Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) provide another way of applying semantic meaning to content i.e. it describes a content component to the reader. DPUB-ARIA specifically maps to the epub:type vocabulary for EPUB content.

Navigating EPUBS

Rachel explained that all EPUB packages contain a navigation document (within the OPF file) from which the Table of Contents (TOC) is generated. The TOC is crucial for accessibility and together with headings, it generally echoes the familiar structure of printed content.

Links are also valuable for accessibility and it’s important to choose a reading system that exposes internal and external links to the reader.

The Value of EPUB Metadata

Also found in the OPF file, EPUB metadata provides information about the accessibility features and potential limitations of the content. Rachel urged us all to make as much use of metadata features as possible, not least via The Accessibility Summary section where the publisher can provide specific information for readers in a non-technical way. See the slide deck attached to this overview for a terrific example of this type of summary provided by Macmillan Learning.

Related Resources

Discover the other webinars we’re running!

The Essentials for Accessible Publishing in 2021 (W)

opening slide: The Essentials for Accessible Publishing in 2021In our series of free DAISY webinars July 21st saw a session focused on The Essentials for Accessible Publishing in 2021. This webinar was held in partnership with the UK Publishers Association, Accessibility Action Group (AAG) in place of their annual in person seminar at The London Book fair.

This page contains:

Full Video of the Webinar

Speakers

  • Stacy Scott (RNIB), chair of the PA Accessibility Action Group—guest host.
  • Dr Agata Mrva-Montoya (Sydney University Press)
  • Laura Brady (House of Anansi)
  • Richard Orme (DAISY)
  • Graham Bell (EDItEUR)
  • Daniella Levy-Pinto (NNELS)

Session Overview

In keeping with previous AAG seminars this webinar promised to be a quick fire journey through this huge topic with lots of speakers, experts in their fields and plenty of take homes for our delegates. Stacy Scott introduced the topic and our first speaker Dr. Agata Mrva-Montoya briefly explained the areas that would be covered.

Advocacy and Policy

Agata briefly took us through the results of an insightful survey conducted in Australia this year,  encouraging us to ensure that in-house advocacy is in place accompanied by a clear and thorough accessibility policy so that “publishers can produce born accessible publications themselves”. Her presentation included an extremely useful overview of how to put together an effective accessibility policy and areas that should be taken into account. Publishers shouldn’t forget that this policy together with their overall approach to accessibility requires regular review and should be cognisant of technical standards and provisions for procurement.

 Content Workflows

Laura Brady gave us a tour of the various workflow routes to accessible EPUB, emphasising the need for culture change in-house to effect these workflow options and stressing that “buy-in throughout the chain is key to the successful production of accessible content.” Lots of useful resources and options to consider including, WordToEPUB, InDesign workflows and XML workflows (the head of the workflow food chain).

Tools and Solutions

Richard Orme continued Laura’s workflow presentation with a look at post-export tools for validation and conformance checking of content. In particular he highlighted EPUBCheck, Ace by DAISY, Ace SMART, The Accessible Publishing Knowledge Base and the Inclusive Publishing hub, urging everyone to take a look at the latter and sign up for the inclusive publishing newsletter at the very least!

Accessibility Metadata

Graham Bell gave us a clear overview of why it is so important to include accessibility metadata at all stages of content production. “If you optimize the accessibility of your books, then your book metadata should reflect that.” He focused on the 3 types of metadata that should be included: metadata included in web pages, metadata included within the EPUB package and accessibility metadata about the book which is embedded in the ONIX. All three serve quite different purposes and should be considered.

Consumer Testing and Feedback

Daniella Levy-Pinto impressed upon us the importance of testing content, using the tools that Richard spoke about and via manual testing using testers with lived experience. It is a necessary and vital part of your content workflow and must take into account the various types of assistive technology that may be used in order to access published works. “Assistive Technology provides opportunities for print disabled readers to access content and it’s important for publishers to understand this technology and to test their content with it.” Talking us through the testing process, Daniella showed us how an accessibility testing process with user feedback improves awareness and communication amongst employees, consumers and other end users.

Related Resources

Discover the other webinars we’re running!