Accessibility Guidelines

Signpost with multi coloured signs for many parts of the world - used to symbolise guidanceStandards

The recently published EPUB Accessibility 1.0 specification assists with meeting EPUB Accessibility requirements for EPUB Publications and are a good starting point for well structured accessible content files together with WCAG 2.0 and WAI-ARIA 1.1   where techniques and best practices are addressed. These standards are maintained and curated by the W3C and you can find out more information at the Publishing@W3C website.

There are many areas of technical work at W3C in which the publishing community is already participating. Among these are the Publishing Business Group, the Publishing Working Group, the EPUB 3 Community Group, the CSS Working Group, and Accessible Rich Internet Applications Working Group. Participation in Interest and Working Groups is open to regular members of W3C.


There are a number of guidelines available for the publishing industry and Inclusive Publishing has listed below guidance that will assist you to produce mainstream accessible content in the EPUB publishing format. Do please let us know if you discover relevant guidance that is not listed here as we would like this list to be as complete as possible:

BISG Quick Start Guide to Accessible Publishing

Designed to give publishers an quick and up to date reference tool, The Quick Start Guide is written in clear, non-technical language and is available in English, French, German, Italian, Korean and Spanish for free in EPUB 3 from the BISG website.

Top Tips for Creating Accessible EPUB 3 Files – DIAGRAM Center

These essential 14 tips from the DIAGRAM Center provide the basis for the Quick Start Guide listed above.

Accessible EPUB 3 – Matt Garrish

Published by O’Reilly Media and available for free download the Accessible EPUB3 book provides a definitive guide to accessibility and EPUB 3

Accessibility Guidelines for Self-Publishing Authors – Dave Gunn

The Accessible ebook Guidelines for Self-Publishing Authors provide practical information to help writers ensure their publications are accessible to the broadest range of readers.  Published by the WIPO Accessible Books Consortium in conjunction with the International Authors Forum (IAF). these can be downloaded for free from the Accessible Books Consortium website.

IMS Global Guidelines for Developing Accessible Learning Applications

More technical than other guidance this document from IMS Global is a must read for ebook developers producing educational content

Accessible Publishing, Best Practice Guidelines for Publishers – Sarah Hilderley

Produced by EDItEUR in association with WIPO and DAISY this more lengthy set of guidelines provides a ready reference for publishers covering non-technical and technical aspects of inclusive publishing. Available in English, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese and Spanish and in a number of formats, the guidelines can be downloaded for free at the Accessible Books Consortium website

Wikipedia Accessible Publishing

A general overview of major developments in accessible publishing