RNIB Bookshare: UK education collection
(formerly known as Load2Learn) is a free online service that provides curriculum materials for children and young people with a print disability in the UK, including those with vision impairment or dyslexia. This new platform which RNIB operates in partnership with tech company Benetech offers an increased number of book titles as well as new features such as reading apps and reading lists. Resources available include books, images and advice on how to adapt classroom materials.
Bookshare works with publishers
to provide their accessible files through UK education collection for use with print-disabled learners at all educational levels, from Early Years to Higher Education. They work closely with The PA to promote Bookshare's benefits to publishers, and encourage engagement on the accessibility agenda. Publishers supply digital files when they become available to the general public; back catalogues of digital files; high quality digital files; and in files in formats that can be converted into accessible versions easily.
International The Accessible Books Consortium
(ABC) aims to increase the number of books worldwide in accessible formats - such as braille, audio and large print - and to make them available to people who are blind, have low vision or are otherwise print disabled. The ABC is a multi-stakeholder partnership, comprising the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO); organizations that serve people with print disabilities; and organizations representing publishers and authors. It supports the objectives of the Marrakesh VIP Treaty: capacity building (helping developing countries to produce/distribute books in accessible formats), inclusive publishing (promoting 'born accessible' resources) and the TIGAR service (an international database and book exchange). Ebook accessibility audit The ebook accessibility audit, a joint project between several UK Higher Education Institution (HEI) disability and library services, Jisc and representatives from the book supply industry including PA members, ran in the second half of 2016 to introduce a benchmark for accessibility in e-book platforms. The focus is on key areas of practical user experience to measure basic accessibility functionality and guide targeted platform improvement.
The audit website includes individual platform feedback reports, and a note on how to use the audit; for publishers, it suggests exploring best and worst scores, thinking how to direct users to the most accessible formats or accessibility features, and advocate for improved accessibility and interoperability for tools like Adobe Digital Editions.
ACE – new accessibility checking tool from DAISY
Ace, the new free accessibility checking tool from DAISY, is currently in BETA 3 release before going live at the end of January 2018. This open source tool aims to make it easier to produce higher quality, interoperable and accessible publications. It can help ensure that publications meet accessibility guidelines, and help in the production of standards-compliant and interoperable EPUB files. The Ace tool performs automated checks to help standards conformance, producing a list for the manual checks that need to be done and data visualizations to aid the process. It can be used as a standalone tool, or be integrated as a third-party component in broader publishing workflows or authoring processes.
DAISY is encouraging managers working with EPUB3 to get their tech teams to engage with the Beta release, and to help prepare in-house teams to get ready for the full release. Details on how to get started are at https://inclusivepublishing.org/Ace. The latest information on Ace and other industry accessibility news is available at https://inclusivepublishing.org/newsletter/