Accessibility in Digital Publishing

What is accessibility ?

Accessibility is equal access to information and knowledge, regardless of disabilities. Standard printed publications are not accessible to people with visual impairments. Many other categories of readers are not able to use the printed books, newspapers, and magazines - including those with dyslexia, motor disabilities or age-related macular degeneration. Collectively, these groups are often referred to as the 'print impaired'.10% of people in the developed world and 15% in the developing world have some degree of print impairment.

Accessible publishing :  Accessible publishing is an approach to publishing and book design whereby books and other texts are made available in alternative formats designed to aid or replace the reading process. Alternative formats that have been developed to aid different people to read include varieties of larger fonts, specialised fonts for certain kinds of reading disabilities, Braille, e-books, and automated Audiobooks and DAISY digital talking books. Accessible publishing has been made possible through developments in technology such as Print on demand (POD), E-book readers, the XML structured data format, and the Internet.

Accessible File Format: Microsoft Word,Print ready PDFs,PDFs,DAISY—Digital Accessible Information Systems,EPUB,HTML-based e-books,LaTex files etc.

Accessibility Standards : In order to be universally accessible, a digital publication should  follow these standards

1.Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) from W3C, the standards setting body for the internet, aim to provide a single shared standard for web content accessibility that meets the needs of individuals, organizations, and governments internationally. See http://www.w3.org/WAI/intro/wcag for full details.

2.DAISY Consortium

3.EPUB 3  International Digital Publishing Forum - IDPF  is now widely considered the optimal format for the interchange of accessible content. The IDPF is the maintenance agency for EPUB and the new version of the standard EPUB 3. The IDPF publish a set of guidelines for the new EPUB 3 standard and these can be found at https://idpf.github.io/a11y-guidelines/

  

References:

https://www.w3.org/WAI/intro/wcag

http://www.idpf.org/

http://www.accessiblebooksconsortium.org/

http://www.daisy.org