Global Certified Accessible™ (GCA) Certification

Benetech’s GCA certification is the first-ever independent third-party EPUB certification program to verify ebook accessibility. Our goal is to help publishers build born accessible content that meets the needs of all readers. The program accomplishes this by working with publishers to certify workflows to ensure that content they produce is accessible from the start. Certified publishers receive a license to include Benetech’s GCA stamp, and the associated metadata,  within their EPUB files from those certified workflows. This eliminates the need for individual title VPATS or audits. With this trusted third-party certification everyone in the EPUB ecosystem, from publishers all the way through to end reader can be sure that all readers have access to the information they need to succeed.

An Affordable Two-Step Approach

The GCA certification program certifies publisher content through a two-step process that keeps costs manageable.


Our program reviews publisher-generated files and works with the publisher to enhance their workflow to produce accessible ebooks. The engagement assists the publisher in generating a revised workflow that ensures that all future products will be accessible.


A certification is granted for one year to certify publisher content and is renewable on an annual basis. Publishers receive consistent feedback on current accessibility standards to stay in compliance. Certified publishers can use the GCA certification “seal of approval” on all promotional materials and in its metadata that the title is “Certified by Benetech’s Global Certified Accessible.”

How does it work?

Our program provides an in-depth evaluation of a file and provides a detailed Accessibility Report that discusses over 100 accessibility features and recommends remediation strategies. We leverage DAISY’s Ace tool to reveal compliance with EPUB Accessibility 1.0 specifications, as well as using its own extensive set of custom tools. It scores conformance to these accessibility features using its proprietary Born Accessible Scoring System. We generate an in-depth Accessibility Report that contains overall observations, detailed examples on how to remediate identified issues, ACE and SMART reports which contain additional information on specific WCAG conformance guidelines, and links to various knowledge bases to help with general remediation. If the file did not meet GCA certification criteria, the publisher is asked to remediate the file and resubmit it for second-round evaluation. This review process is repeated until the publisher achieves a qualifying score. When a title scores high enough to pass without further review, we will evaluate two more titles coming from the workflow. When three consecutive titles pass, the publisher is granted Accreditation.

What does it cost?

Service Description Fee (based off complexity)


One-time cost covering accreditation of workflow until it is approved

  • Low: $2,000
  • Moderate: $5,000
  • High: $8,000


Annual subscription to spot check workflow for conformance

  • Low: $1,500
  • Moderate: $4,000
  • High: $6,000

Book Complexity Levels

  • Low Complexity: EPUBS with text. No design elements such as figures, tables, list items, links, audio, video, and MathML
  • Moderate Complexity: EPUBs with small number of design elements per page. Simple JavaScript.
  • High Complexity (Extra Long): EPUBs with high number of design elements per page. Complex JavaScript. HOW

Get Certified

Ready to get certified? Contact us.