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Publishing, Accessibility, W3C Standards. Where Are We Going? (W)

Publishing Accessibility and W3C Standards opening slideIn our series of free weekly webinars  June 3rd saw a session focused on the future of the W3C, entitled Publishing, Accessibility, W3C Standards. Where Are We Going? The EPUB 3 standard can support accessibility to a degree never seen before. It’s already the most popular and most accessible publishing standard, but can we do better? Our speakers explored this theme during their webinar giving us an overview of what the publishing industry can expect from Publishing@W3C in the future.

This page contains:

Full Video of the Webinar

Speakers

  • Richard Orme, The DAISY Consortium—host and chair
  • Wendy Reid, Rakuten Kobo
  • Dave Cramer, Hachette Book Group
  • Tzviya Siegman, Wiley

Session Overview

Wendy Reid, Chair of the Publishing WG and Chair of the upcoming EPUB3 WG at W3C, opened this webinar by giving us an overview of the recent W3C survey conducted to understand how EPUB was being used within our industry. For publishers, EPUB is indeed the format of choice and it is very popular although , overall, it was concluded that publishers need it to do more. There is some misunderstanding about EPUB and better communication and spec improvements are needed to rectify this.

Dave Cramer, Chair of the former EPUB Community Group and Chair of the upcoming EPUB3 WG at W3C, gave us some background on how Publishing@W3C works and how we need to be using the W3C process as a tool to make improvements to our industry standards. The EPUB3 WG has seen 20 years of dedication to the EPUB spec but interoperability challenges, in particular, demand refinement and the new goals for the spec focus on these as well as other overdue alterations.

Tzviya Siegman, Chair of the Publishing WG and member of the W3C Advisory Board, discussed the EPUB accessibility spec—which she hopes will be a formal W3C recommendation by 2021. The EPUB Accessibility Taskforce is also working on a metadata project—The Accessibility Metadata Crosswalk, to identify gaps within the accessibility metadata in major industry standards.

Tzviya also discussed using DPUB ARIA and explained that if you use it correctly, how it can greatly enhance the reading experience for screen reader users. However, if used incorrectly the result can be quite the reverse so she suggests not using it unless competency levels are high.

WCAG Accessibility guidelines expect an update in Q4 2020 with several new success criteria to be included.

Wendy introduced us to the Audiobook specification which is on track to reach recommended status in Q3 2020, allowing for the creation of born accessible audiobooks and providing a mainstream standard for the creation of audiobook titles.

Our presenters gave us many resources and recommendations throughout the webinar and the Q & A at the end was most informative. Make sure you listen to some of the thought provoking questions and our panels expert thoughts on these topics.

Related Resources

Discover the other webinars we’re running!

Leveraging InDesign for Accessible EPUB Creation (W)

Leveraging InDesign for Accessible EPUB Creation opening slideIn our series of free weekly webinars May 20th saw a session focused on Leveraging InDesign for Accessible EPUB Creation. If InDesign is part of your book production toolchain, then this webinar gave an invaluable overview of how to get cleaner, more accessible reflowable EPUB output. This page contains:

Full Video of the Webinar

Speakers

  • Richard Orme, The DAISY Consortium—host and chair
  • Laura Brady, House of Anansi Press
  • Michael Murphy, Adobe

Session Overview

This was a webinar in 4 parts with top tips and hints for the ebook designer to ensure that their exported EPUBs are as accessible as possible:

Establishing Structure With Styles

Michael Murphy opened the webinar with an overview of the importance of styles within InDesign, the first crucial step in file preparation and one which covers approximately 70% of accessibility related tasks, if properly and consistently used. Using paragraph and character styles enables you to achieve as clean and semantically rich accessible EPUB as possible—packing information into the formatting of your file via styles ensures that your EPUB is off to a flying start.

Edit All Export Tags

Export tagging of your styles avoids HTML cleanup later and Laura Brady showed  everyone how to successfully edit tags so that the HTML is as precise and semantic as possible:

Let the HTML do the accessibility heavy lifting

With a little nudging InDesign will perform and Laura demo’d various screens with us during the webinar

Image Output and Alt Text

In order to achieve an end result where the order, appearance and alt text of images are as intended in the final EPUB, Michael showed us various settings needed to ensure accessibility and good reflow of images.

Semantics and Post-Export CleanUp

Laura explained that InDesign has a full set of semantics built in and how we should think of epub:type as the scaffolding on which we can build ARIA roles. If you are passionate about accessibility then you should think of the InDesign Export EPUB as a starting point and be prepared to clean up the file with Laura’s list of specific cleanup tasks.

Related Resources

Discover the other webinars we’re running!

Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2020: A Publisher’s “At Home” Toolkit & Quiz

Logo for Global Accessibility Awareness DayGAAD takes place on May 21 this year and we’d like to encourage all our readers to take part so that we can build awareness in our industry and play our part to increase the availability of your digital content to people with print disabilities, particularly during this challenging time when many of you are working from home. If your organization has an accessibility advocate then this is their chance to build awareness and co-ordinate activities that your teams may be able to take part in whilst self-isolating.

In 2019 there were some exciting events surrounding GAAD and we have put together a few ideas to help you organize something this year. It might be an event surrounding awareness building and advocacy or it might be a more technical dive into what makes an accessible ebook. Whatever you choose, please send us the details so that we can tell others about your good work and build on this for future events. Contact us here.

We have lots of ideas to get you started:

Take Our Accessibility Quiz!

How much do you know about ebook accessibility? Try out our quiz, share it with colleagues and see who is really “in the know”.  This is just for fun, but you can find your score along with information about each of the questions after you finish. Easy to complete from home and very straightforward to include in a variety of activities that you may have planned. Good Luck!

The Inclusive Publishing GAAD Quiz

Awareness Building

You can easily do this from your home office so long as you and your team are online and communicating

  • Put together a blog piece in advance of GAAD. This will help to raise awareness amongst your colleagues about what GAAD is all about. We have resources and tools that you can include in your post to spark interest and encourage questions! A good place to start is our Introduction to Inclusive Publishing.
  • Check out your website: do you have an accessibility statement about your digital content? If not then perhaps you can set about writing something on GAAD. Have a look at the work of ASPIRE which is all about increasing the effectiveness of your organizational accessibility statement
  • Hold an online social event to promote your support of accessible publishing. Set up a “party” on zoom to discuss awareness issues and next steps for your company when you return to the workplace. (Zoom offers the most accessible online conferencing experience we have found).

User Experience

GAAD is a great chance to find out for yourself what it’s like to be a print disabled reader. You can put together all manner of sessions to focus on this but here are a few ideas:

  • Go mouseless for an hour—unplug your mouse and only use your keyboard (tab/shift tab, arrow keys, enter and spacebar) to navigate and interact with content.
  • Experience reading using assistive technology – try 10 minutes with a screen reader for example
  • You may wish to set up a UX session so that your colleagues can experience accessibility features such as Voice Over.
  • Try your hand at writing image descriptions—collect a few images from the content that you publish together with some contextual information. See how your colleagues fare in writing alt text! This could be a fun challenge that would be easy or organise for those of you working from home.

Accessible EPUB

  • GAAD for Geeks! If you can it would be very helpful if your technical ebook developers can run an online demonstration of what makes an EPUB accessible. The benefits of using EPUB 3 are significant for accessibility and a short presentation about this would greatly increase understanding of the technical advantages of building a11y in from the very start of the content creation process. See our top tips page for some guidance on this.
  • Ask the Expert! EPUB for non-technical teams. Try running something similar for your non-technical teams. They may not need to know the technical details but will appreciate and understand information on how your content production teams are handling accessibility for mainstream product. Our EPUB resources pages for publishers will be able to give you some pointers on this.

Webinars

Encourage your colleagues to watch one of our free webinars available on the DAISY YouTube channel. We have many different sessions available already and lots more planned for the future so this would be a terrific time to ask your co-workers to choose something new and interesting. If you host a discussion following a webinar viewing you could initiate some interesting debate which we would love to hear about.

Other Events We’ve Heard About

Some of our amazing inclusive Publishing Partners have organized events for GAAD 2020 and we have listed those we know about below…please keep us updated if there are any others planned:

  • Red Shelf: are running an educational session about the accessible creation and distribution of Open Educational Resources. Register for this RedShelf event here to join at 1pm CST on Thursday 21 May
  • The LIA Foundation: are holding two online presentations entitled—Toward an accessible publishing ecosystem & Offering services through smartspeakers:
    challenges and opportunities of a new kind of UI—both on Friday 22 May, you can register at the LIA Accessibility Days event page

Free Webinar: The Future of Accessible Publishing and Standards—Where Are We Going?

June 3rd, 2020

The DAISY Consortium has announced the launch of a series of free weekly webinars on accessible publishing and reading in response to the multiple challenges being faced by conferences around the world due to Coronavirus, as well as feedback from the wider DAISY community expressing interest in online training resources.

The EPUB 3 standard can support accessibility to a degree never seen before. It’s already the most popular and most accessible publishing standard, but can we do better?
This webinar will:

  • discuss where we currently are and some of the challenges we face
  • summarize what is planned in the near future and the impact it will have on accessible publishing
  • gaze into the crystal ball of publishing standards to explore where we might be headed longer term and what we might encounter along the path.

Date

June 3, 2020

Venue

Online via Zoom or via the DAISY YouTube channel afterwards

Learn More

Sign up for the June 3rd webinar

For information on the whole DAISY webinar series on offer you can register your interest on the Webinar Information Page

DPUB Summit 2020

June 1st to 12th, 2020

The annual Digital Publishing Summit organized by EDRLab, will, this year, happen online. The two days of conferences, panels, workshops and meetups have been transformed into a set of “à la carte” online interactions. This is a free event, composed of several elements including:

  1. Content published in advance so that participants can “be aware” of the context of each session they are interested in.
  2. Live streaming sessions during the event (15 to 20 sessions, one hour each), with textual interactions between the panelists and the audience.
  3. Recorded sessions for those who missed a live session.
  4. Debrief sessions after the event, i.e. interactive sessions targeting the publication of a position paper about an important topic discussed during one or more sessions.

As usual, we anticipate a number of sessions dedicated to ebook accessibility and we will update this page as this information becomes available

Date

June 1-12, 2020

Venue

Online

Learn More

EDRLab have published details of this year’s summit on their event page

Telling The Story, Better Accessibility Statements with ASPIRE (W)

ASPIRE cover slide

In our series of free weekly webinars April 29th saw a session focused on the work of the ASPIRE service which helps publishers and vendors tell the story of the amazing accessibility work they are doing to create a transparent environment for content.

This page contains:

Full Video of the Webinar

Speakers

  • Richard Orme, DAISY Consortium—host and chair
  • Huw Alexander, TextBOX Digital
  • Alistair McNaught, McNaught Consulting

Session Overview

Huw Alexander gave us a brief overview of what this session would cover:

  • Accessibility statements and the Law
  • The Evolution of ASPIRE
  • The ASPIREreview process
  • What makes a Gold Statement
  • The Benefits of Accessibility Statements

An overview of the legal situation in the UK and Europe from Alistair McNaught framed the webinar and gave us context and background for the work they have achieved. (Publishers can get an overview of legal regulations in their own market from our legislation page). Organizations are required to provide an accessibility statement as part of content provision and this includes library services etc.

The ASPIRE project began in the summer of 2018 as a crowdsourced project with a large number of stakeholders. Looking at accessibility statements, the project uncovered many untold stories of good work within our industry. Publishers weren’t telling us about the accessibility of their content and not engaging with their customers about their plans for accessible experiences.

Fast forward a year and the project has developed into a fully fledged cost-effective service which offers an audit and review of publishing accessibility statements together with a set of transparent, positive and clear recommendations for improvement. Scoring and the possibility of  “Gold” level status has meant that we now have a range of wonderful examples of how the anatomy of a statement should look.

Huw and Alistair talked us through a number of examples explaining the key benefits of getting this right. By “telling your story about your content” publishers are fulfilling their legal obligations whilst engaging and supporting customers and readers.

Related Resources

Referenced in the webinar were:

Understanding Accessibility in EPUB with Bookmachine

May 7th, 2020

This online presentation is aimed at digital publishing professionals wanting to improve their publishing practices using EPUB in 2020. Run in three parts this online course explains the methods, techniques and recommended software and services to use in adding rich accessibility to EPUBs.

Date

May 7, 14 & 21, 2020

Venue

Online

Learn More

Registration and further course details are available from the Bookmachine event page

Free Webinar: Leveraging InDesign for Accessible EPUB Creation

May 20th, 2020

The DAISY Consortium has announced the launch of a series of free weekly webinars on accessible publishing and reading in response to the multiple challenges being faced by conferences around the world due to Coronavirus, as well as feedback from the wider DAISY community expressing interest in online training resources.

If InDesign is part of your book production toolchain, then this webinar is for you. In it you will learn a set of tips and tricks for tricking InDesign into giving you cleaner, more accessible reflowable EPUB output. Some are simple typesetting tips to keep print and digital aligned, others are deeper ways to get more semantic HTML.

Date

May 20, 2020

Venue

Online via Zoom or via the DAISY YouTube channel afterwards

Learn More

Sign up for the May 20th webinar

For information on the whole DAISY webinar series on offer you can register your interest on the Webinar Information Page

Making Sense of It All—Ebook Legislation and Policy Where You Are

Understanding the legal framework within your own publishing market is crucial if you are going to successfully deliver born accessible content to all of your readers. It gives you the basis around which to develop an accessible publishing policy and business plan for your entire organization and for your interactions with 3rd party suppliers, vendors and partners.

We’ve tried to put together a list of some of the main considerations for a variety of international markets and we welcome updates and information on these and other global markets. There are indeed some international considerations and resources that you need to take into account and we’ve listed these at the beginning so that you can look at these alongside legislation particular to your geographical location. These include:

  • In a global context, the best strategy to increase your international accessibility compliance is to understand and follow the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 and Article 9 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CPRD).
  • Many countries have signed and ratified The Marrakesh Treaty within their markets . This treaty is the first international Copyright Treaty focusing on exceptions.
  • EPUB Accessibility 1.0 Specification
  • ISO 300-71  (2019) extends BS8878  providing a code of practice for creating accessible ICT products and service. This is an international process-oriented standard enabling organisations to embed accessibility considerations into their “business as usual” processes.
  • The W3C provides an overview of international considerations for web accessibility.
  • The Accessible Books Consortium provides lots of useful guidance on behalf of WIPO.

Visit our main Ebook Legislation resource page for information on your own country. In addition to having an understanding of what is required of you, you may also like to have further relevant guidance and information at your fingertips so we’ve also listed a number of resources that have originated in your country. It’s worth looking through all these types of resources as many useful pieces of guidance are available from other areas.

This is a developing resource and we’d be very pleased to hear from you and how we can improve the information provided and if you are aware of any updates that we should include, especially details of legislation in countries that we may not have listed. Please contact us.