Making Your E-books Accessible
2. "It's the ethically and morally correct thing to do. It complements our corporate agendas, but it's the right thing to do. My brother had dyslexia ... he hated school, was constantly frustrated ...," Wise said. She noted that staffs at publishing houses appreciate this kind of effort (doing the right thing) from their companies.
3. "It's legally the necessary thing to do as well. Legislation is in place to ensure that we provide access," she stressed.
4. "Fourth and most important, it makes clear business sense to increase accessbility to e-books now-enhancing usability of our products for all of our readers," said Wise. "All publishers are making investments to make a step change in their e-books program. We can do this now at the outset."
Accessibility Project Lead
Hilderley spoke on a joint project involving both EDItEUR and the Daisy Consortium, to adjust mainstream publishing processes to enable the delivery of digital publications fully accessible to people with reading disabilities. The project team is working on establishing best practice guidelines that publishers can follow to integrate the practices and appropriate standards into their production processes.
"It's about choice of access ...," said Hilderley. "Today's reader needs to be able to access content regardless of ability. As a publisher, you need to service this."
Hilderley outlined the three routes to accessibility for publishers:
1. supply accessible files at the request of a reader;
2. utilize out-of-house help through third-party services; or
3. ideally, your commercial products will have accessbility built in as a matter of course.
She stressed that the guidelines being created would be "a manual, not a report. For senior executives, we ask that you create a company policy making this a top priority for everyone in the company. Appoint an internal advocate for this in house-someone for a passion for accessibility and ability to implement. Give them real power," she suggested. And, she added, "Understand the issues ... and show your own personal commitment."