Accessible Publishing Tips Volume I

By Michael Johnson, posted on

Make your accessibility commitment and explore FREE resources for accessible publishing

Audiobook icon. Accessible Publishing Tips

The very first tip for moving along on your accessibility journey is the make the commitment to becoming a Born Accessible organization. That’s right, all you have to do is commit. That is the hardest part of the whole process!

Accessibility should be a core part of your process. Just like quality content, amazing images, rigorous research, or bestselling authors. Accessibility shouldn’t be an extra thing or once you are done thing. Rather is should be part of everything you do every step of the way.

Next, you can make sure your eBook publishing workflow can create EPUB 3.2 files. No matter what tools you use to create your books, your goal should be to have the final eBook output be an EPUB 3.2 file as this is only format that will give you the full range of accessibility support options.

Now for some great news. There are lots of F-R-E-E resources out there to help you learn about EPUB, and the accessibility standards, and even some tools, also F-R-E-E, that you can use to do internal QA/QC to ensure that your eBooks met the appropriate standards.

Here are some links to the international standards. From the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) the most recent accessibility content guidelines working draft which was just released in May 2021 https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG22/ and the EPUB accessibility standard https://www.w3.org/Submission/epub-a11y/

Here are some links to those free tools. EPUBCHECK https://www.w3.org/publishing/epubcheck/about/ to help you with EPUB file formatting and ACE, by DAISY to help you check the accessibility of your EPUB files https://daisy.github.io/ace/

Born Accessible is a journey. By reading this post and visiting and learning from these links we will have already taken several steps forward. Congratulations!

As always, if you have any questions about how your publishing company can create more accessible files or become a Benetech GCATM certified publisher, just email me at michaelj@benetech.com