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Updates to DAISY Ace and SMART Support EPUB Accessibility 1.1

The DAISY Consortium has announced updates to its Ace EPUB Accessibility Checker and the SMART Tool:

Ace By DAISY

Ace by DAISY is the free, open source EPUB accessibility checking tool, created to assist in the evaluation of conformance to the EPUB Accessibility Specification, helping your company meet industry requirements of accessible procurement, and enabling you to produce higher quality, standards conformant publications.

Designed to assist content creators at any stage in their workflow Ace is available as both a command line tool for workflow integration and a desktop App for quick testing of titles. Updates to both the Ace Command Line Tool (v1.2.7) and the Ace App (v1.1.5) have been published to support the new EPUB Accessibility 1.1 specification (“Conformance and Discoverability Requirements for EPUB publications”), currently a W3C Candidate Recommendation Draft dated 07 June 2022. Other maintenance fixtures and an update to the DAISY Knowledge Base are also included.

 The links for these updates can be found at:

A new version of the SMART tool is also available, allowing users to begin evaluating conformance to the new Accessibility 1.1 specification. This tool provides manual conformance checks necessary to ensure conformance with EPUB and WCAG requirements. Users will continue to have their reports initiated to check conformance with the EPUB Accessibility 1.0 specification, but they will be able to change the conformance settings to the 1.1 specification, which will then also let them choose WCAG 2.0 or 2.1 conformance. Accessibility 1.1 conformance will become the default when the specification gets to the next stage of Proposed Recommendation.

The other major changes with this update are:

  • Users to be able to filter the success criteria in the conformance tab by the type of content they’re checking
  • The conformance tab, which now includes a “Stats” box that shows how many success criteria have passed, failed, need checking, or are inapplicable.

Together, Ace by DAISY, SMART and the DAISY Accessible Publishing Knowledge Base provide the most complete method for accessibility conformance testing of EPUB publications.

Accessibility in Modern Publishing Workflows at Digital Book World

Digital Book World conference bannerDigital Book World 2018 took place at the beginning of October – re-imagined and re-invented by its new owners Score Publishing, in Nashville Tennessee, home to many music legends and now to a major publishing conference.

Ace developer and DAISY speaker, Marisa DeMeglio presented the session Accessibility in Modern Publishing Workflows on the second day of the conference.Very much a discussion style session, Marisa spent some time describing the work that DAISY focuses on internationally and the impact it has had on digital publishing, in particular. Demonstrations of various types of reading experiences highlighted the need for accessible mainstream ebooks and it was clear that EPUB can solve many challenges provided developers make full use of the accessibility features that are available to them within the standard.

Marisa showed delegates Ace by DAISY, the free open source EPUB accessibility checking tool from the DAISY Consortium which can be integrated within publishing workflows at any stage of production. The release of the new Drag and Drop version, for which there is huge interest, is on the horizon and it was exciting to be able to update the audience on this. Demos of Ace together with The Accessible Publishing Knowledge Base showed publishers that accessibility is entirely achievable within their mainstream content.

Marisa also discussed SMART, the Simple Manual Accessibility Reporting Tool, designed to guide users through the manual checking process that Ace highlights. Available to vendors and publishers via DAISY partners as part of a consulting or audit service this latest tool from DAISY was greeted with much enthusiasm.

The Digital Book Awards saw an array of awards including the Innovation in Accessibility Award for which DAISY was a finalist. Our congratulations to the winner of this award, Amazon Alexa and to the other finalists in this category.

Inclusive Publishing looks forward to hearing plans for DBW 2019.

Accessible ebooks: BIC Breakfast Event Report

BIC logoThe Book Industry Study Group held their regular BIC Breakfast meeting last month on the 25th of April focusing specifically on accessible ebooks. Speaking to a full room Emma House, Deputy CEO of the Publishers Association in the UK, opened proceedings with a presentation on the importance of accessibility and setting the scene in terms of legal and international requirements.

Do not wait; the time will never be “just right.” Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.

Richard Orme, CEO of the DAISY Consortium, followed presenting a range of tools and support services based on industry accessibility standards. In particular, he concentrated on Ace, the new , open source, EPUB Accessibility Checker, a newly developed knowledge base built to accompany Ace and SMART (Simple Manual Accessibility Reporting Tool).

The DAISY Consortium (@accesibledaisy) promotes EPUB 3 because it has all the accessibility provisions that the book industry might need. #bicbreakfast

Chris Saynor from EDItEUR rounded off proceedings with a presentation on the importance of accessibility metadata looking specifically at schema,org, ONIX, the crosswalk and the role of each. Chris was asked the question whether accessibility metadata was actually being used by retailers and it was promising to hear that this is indeed starting to happen and that Amazon are keen for publishers to supply this level of detail.

Metadata improves discoverability. “Good” metadata improves sales. People with print impairments require different functionalities and the population of specific metadata fields to find the book they need. #bicbreakfast

For further information on this interesting event and access to the slide deck used by all speakers, readers should visit the BIC website.