The following areas of focus were established as working groups at the 2019 Accessible Publishing Summit.
At the 2020 Accessible Publishing Summit, we will review these groups, possibly changing the focus or scope of some, and we will also introduce an additional topic: Accessible Audiobooks.
Accessible Publishing Website
The first working group discussed developing an online repository of resources; if you were at the summit last year than you may recall that we termed this “Website Metaproject”, as it encompassed a number of different ideas and tasks which all broadly fell under the idea of building a collection of resources, documentation, templates, guides, examples, and more. The collected items would be relevant to content creators (publishers, authors, etc.), as well as librarians, readers, and generally anyone who has a stake in accessible publishing.
Accessibility Certification Process
Another group looked at researching and developing a certification process; this was termed “Certification Metaproject” because it may require sub-group work, and because it touches on much of the other work discussed at the first Summit.
In brief, the goal of this “project” is to investigate the costs and benefits of a Canadian certification body for EPUB, one that is affordable and accessible to every Canadian publisher. This group will work toward defining standards and making space in order to create an accessibility certification process in Canada.
Government Policy & Legislation
This group intended to work on identifying incentives and deterrents for accessible publishing in Canada. They also discussed creating policy templates and guidance documents to help companies develop internal accessibility policies, and planned to include vendors in the discussion of accessible publishing in Canada through incentivization or other means.
Hiring People with Disabilities
Members of this group intended to work to raise awareness of the importance and necessity of including people with disabilities in the testing and development of high-quality ebooks
Licensing & Rights
This group discussed looking into alternatives to Digital Rights Management as well as things like collective licensing.
Search & Discoverability
The members of this group will explore how metadata for accessible books can be improved, resulting in increased findability for accessible digital books.
Training & Social Inclusion
This group planned to focus on building awareness of the EPUB 3 format, and sharing guides and resources for producing and using EPUB.
The goal of this group is to bring user needs to the fore: how can the benefits of accessible digital books be brought to users across the country? Who are the stakeholders and what do they need? What do users need? Until we achieve a bright future of accessible digital books for all, what do people need on the ground need now, in order to be able to read books?
Outreach & Networking
This group developed a few key action items. The idea is to build on and advance the many connections that were made at the first Summit. While we had 50 excellent attendees, there are many more important people who should hear about this work, and would be well-placed to lend a hand to the work.
The action items noted at the Summit are (a) to create a list of people to share their knowledge, and agree upon a deadline for this item; (b) to include a panel of accessibility testers at ebookcraft, Tech Forum, and ACP Conference; and (c) to recognize leaders in accessibility from different stakeholder groups including publishers, platforms, and libraries