Standards and Guidelines

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

There are a number of standards that should be taken into account when producing accessible content. In particular:

These standards are maintained and curated by the W3C and you can find out more information at the Publishing@W3C website. In addition you may find it worthwhile to familiarize yourself with the legal requirements in your own market.


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. There are lots of resources on this website also, in particular our training page.

Domestic Guidance Sites

2 sites in particular are useful to English language publishers:

  • PAAG – the UK Publishers Accessibility Action Group has lots of useful guidance and resource recommendations
  • apln – the Canadian Accessible Publishing Learning Network gives instructive guidance on many areas of accessibility

Books without Barriers

Books without Barriers is a new resource from Australia which contains comprehensive, detailed advice on how to create accessible books.

European Accessibility Act Resources and Guidance

Our EAA resources page will help you to get to grips with the requirements and available resources from the European Inclusive Publishing Forum.

Top Tips for Creating Accessible EPUB 3 Files

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