New guides support creation of accessible digital books

May 10, 2019

The Australian Inclusive Publishing Initiative, supported by Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund, has launched two guides: Inclusive Publishing in Australia and Making Content Accessible.

Inclusive Publishing in Australia is an introductory guide for publishers and all those who contribute to the publishing workflow, including editors, proofreaders and indexers. It explains how inclusion and accessibility benefit both the community and business, and identifies the international standards for creating an accessible digital book. It also offers a set of workflow strategies at each stage of the publishing process, along with an extensive list of resources, to encourage the creation of digital books that are inclusive by design. It was launched at the Institute of Professional Editors National Conference in Melbourne on 8 May.

Making Content Accessible : A Guide to Navigating Australian Copyright Law for Disability Access is a guide which provides a simple summary of the copyright law governing access to material for people with a disability in Australia. It also includes a checklist of major requirements and some practical advice for applying them. It is intended for use by disability organisations, libraries, archives, museums, galleries, schools, TAFEs, universities and similar institutions. It was launched on 5 May by Copyright Agency Board member and Ventura Press Director, Jane Curry, at the Round Table for Information Access for People With Print Disabilities. Read Jane Curry’s speech.

Both guides are published by the Australian Inclusive Publishing Initiative. The AIPI was launched in 2016 to address the challenge of improving access to books by people living with a print accessibility, and to foster a collaborative and consensus-based approach to tackling accessibility problems in Australia. Its members include representatives of the publishing industry, authors, agents, editors, designers, indexers, libraries, copyright organisations, disability associations, government and accessible-format providers.

APA president and AIPI participant Lee Walker said inclusive design “is a strategic investment for the publishing industry”, allowing publishers to service a growing market. “It also provides publishers with the opportunity to create clever, more efficient, and more cost-effective workflows and opens up new ways of thinking about content, formats and user experience. This guide provides information to help publishers realise this vision.”

Vision Australia representative and AIPI participant Anthea Taylor said, “those who ultimately benefit from this guide are part of a broader pool than most might think. The reasons people have a print disability are quite varied. They range from having a vision impairment or blindness through to having Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis, having a brain injury, dyslexia, literacy issues or early dementia.”

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