ECPA's Rush To Press

Accessibility in Publishing: Demystified

New York, NY, March 22, 2016: Today, the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) released the BISG Quick Start Guide to Accessible Publishing, an overview of why accessibility is important for publishers across all sectors of the industry and how best to implement it. The Guide comes at a pivotal point in publishing as accessibility is increasingly a critical business concern. It offers both a succinct introduction to the basics of accessibility and the market advantages to publishers of adopting best practices for those who need to quickly come up to speed. The new publication includes a summary of key implementation tips and extensive appendices with code samples, a glossary, comprehensive resources, and an overview of legal requirements in the U.S. and internationally.

The work of this groundbreaking document represents an extraordinary year‐long collaboration of over twenty‐five leaders across the publishing ecosystem and is an ongoing initiative within the BISG. It is written in clear, non‐technical language and is intended for everyone from C‐Suite executives to newly hired staff. The Guide has been translated into four languages (Spanish, French, German and Italian) and will soon be available in Korean. It is available in the EPUB 3 format and serves as a model of a properly accessible publication. “It’s a terrific publication that you can depend on for solid information about accessibility of digital publications,” said George Kerscher, President of the IDPF and Chief Innovations Officer of the DAISY Consortium.

“The publishing industry has needed a guide like this for many years,” said Bill Kasdorf, VP and Principal Consultant, Apex Content and Media Solutions, and Chair, BISG Content Structure Committee. “It’s especially timely now that EPUB is such a clear standard for accessible interchange, because it is now easier than ever for publications to be made accessible as part of standard publishing workflows. The Quick Start Guide will both demystify accessibility and demonstrate how making publications accessible makes them better for all users. It promises to become the go‐to resource, the first place to turn for any accessibility-related issue.”

“The Guide addresses one of the most daunting technical challenges in digital publishing and one of the least understood social challenges facing education and literacy today: How do we create content in such a way that every reader has equal access to information?” stated Robin Seaman, Chair of the BISG’s Accessible Publishing Working Group and Director of Content at Benetech. “As we see daily in such ubiquitous conveniences as curb cuts, closed captioning in sports bars, and Siri — all originally created to make the world ‘accessible’ for people with disabilities — the push to ensure that every book is ‘born accessible’ stands to revolutionize the way content will be consumed by us all.”

The BISG Quick Start Guide to Accessible Publishing is available for download by following the link: ACCESSIBILITY.

The Book Industry Study Group, Inc. (BISG) is the book industry’s leading trade association for standardseducation, and information. BISG facilitates the connections and conversations that solve common problems, advance new ideas, and more profitably bring published content to readers. For over 35 years, BISG has provided a forum for all industry professionals to come together and efficiently address issues and concerns to advance the book community. Members include publishers, manufacturers, suppliers, wholesalers, retailers, librarians, and others engaged in the business of print and electronic media.