New research invites publishers to participate in Australia’s accessibility journey

July 8, 2020

Book publishers are invited to contribute to an exciting new benchmarking study about inclusive publishing in Australia.

The research is being spearheaded by Agata Mrva-Montoya, lecturer and Degree Director, Master of Publishing, at the University of Sydney (currently on leave from her role as Publishing Manager at Sydney University Press). In our previously-published Q&A, she described how a lack of accessible formats led to “global book famine” and reduced opportunities for the blind, visually-impaired and print-disabled.

“It has been estimated that in Australia there are over 575,000 people who are blind or vision impaired and more than 2 million with dyslexia,” Agata reported, “and with the aging population, this number will grow.

“Making ‘born-accessible’ books is about ensuring access to information for all; accessible books benefit all readers, not just those who are visually impaired. It is also about future-proofing digital formats so that as the technology and software change, publishers can easily release content in new formats.”

Agata’s research will begin with a survey for publishing staff involved in either book production or the implementation of accessibility standards. Responses will help lay the groundwork for inclusive publishing workflows that enable people with print disabilities to have easy and timely access to reading material.

The project has been developed in collaboration with the Round Table on Information Access for People with Print Disabilities and the Australian Inclusive Publishing Initiative (AIPI). Copyright Agency is a member of both the Round Table and the AIPI and supports the latter through our Cultural Fund.

Publishers are welcome to respond to the survey anytime between now and Friday 31 July.

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