Approved Tools FAQS

What is the Benetech Approved Publisher Tool?

Benetech’s Approved Publisher Tool program is the first-ever independent third-party process to ensure that these tools, if used correctly, will allow publishers to create Born Accessible content as part of thier regular create workflow. Our goal is to help publishers build born accessible content that meets the needs of all readers.

What does Benetech’s Approved Publist Tool program involve?

The program reviews output created with these tools to ensure that the EPUB files comply with all applicable international standards.

What standards and guidelines does the program follow?

The program follows:

  • EPUB Accessibility 1.1 specification (the “Baseline”)
  • World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.2 AA
  • Accessibility metadata to promote conformance and discoverability of certified accessible publications

Benetech was both a contributor and editor in the creation of EPUB Accessibility 1.0 and 1.1 and continues to work on new specification releases. Benetech also participated in conceptualizing how accessibility metadata should be displayed for libraries and bookstores. Today, we continue to contribute to a number of EPUB accessibility best practice documents and sit on committees to help move accessibility forward.

The Approved Tools process also reviews extended image descriptions and MathML using industry best practice guidelines to ensure conformance. There are currently no published specifications on extended image descriptions or math descriptions. Benetech is working to influence how images and math can both be made accessible.

Why do publishers need to create accessible content?

Two reasons are high market demand and increasing legal requirements. Readers with print disabilities represent a significant market share and need accessible books. K-12 and higher education institutions are also demanding that publishers submit independent third-party certification to ensure content is accessible before purchasing textbooks.

The European Accessibility Act requires that all digital goods and services, including ebooks, that are available for sale within the EU after 28 June, 2025 be fully accessible.

Are there additional benefits to publishing accessible content?

An accessible eBook is an eBook all readers can use. Benefits to publishers include:

  • Increased market share. Creating accessible content allows publishers to tap into a significant portion of the population who are underserved by the existing eBook market.
  • Improved discoverability. Because accessible books contain more title metadata, they can be found on search engines and retailers much easier, creating more sales opportunities.
  • Decreased remediation costs. Creating born accessible content allows publishers to avoid costly title by title remediation.

Does this service apply to tools from outside the United States?

Absolutely! We work with companies all over the world. Technology knows no boundaries so we welcome tools from everywhere. 

What does Benetech’s Approved Publisher Tool program cost?

The initial approval process fee is $7,500.

There is an annual renew fee to ensure the tool is still compliant. This fee is $5,000.