Articles archive (page 2)

Articles archive

NNELS Accessible Publishing Summit 2022

NNELS logo
NNELS logoFebruary saw the 4th iteration of the hugely successful NNELS Accessible Publishing Summit, held virtually for the 2nd time. One of the benefits of being held virtually was evident in the number of international delegates who joined the summit to share their expertise and experiences with the Canadian publishing industry. For the 1st time NNELS made some of the main sessions available via YouTube and the links for these sessions can be found below. What this summit does so well is to bring together communities of people to discuss and share ideas on accessible publishing via panel sessions, presentations, moderated group sessions and working group sessions. Read our more thorough Summit Overview on Inclusive Publishing

Tester Demos

One of the most successful elements of this summit has always been the NNELS tester demonstrations and this year was no exception:
  1. The first demo concentrated on Reflowable EPUB and was presented by Ka Li (NNELS)
  2. The second demo focused on Fixed Layout EPUB and was presented by Mélissa Castilloux (NNELS)


  • The User Perspectives Panel asked many useful questions of the panel such as: How do you read? What does your access toolkit look like? What does timely and meaningful access mean for you? Lots of thoughts and ideas were presented in response to the question: What is the one issue or factor which impacts your reading experience that you would most like to see prioritized within the reading ecosystem? Answers included: access to sample chapters, DRM, reading apps to improve accessibility for screen readers, structure always, one app for everything.
  • The Industry Updates and Expert Perspectives Panel was a chance for accessibility organizations to update delegates on what is new and what is on the horizon for accessible publishing. DAISY was pleased to update everyone on current activities and it was helpful to hear from others on this panel about all the good progress being made.
  • The International Panel was an interesting session speaking with panelists from Italy, Australia, Brazil and the UK, highlighting the very different landscapes that we all work in and the various challenges in these markets.

Working Group Sessions

Day three allowed the delegates to get down to the nitty gritty in the 3 hour-long working group sessions . We are looking forward to the notes and resources that result from these stimulating sessions where everyone felt very comfortable in expressing their opinions and contributing to discussions. Creating the right atmosphere for this type of working experience is undoubtedly where NNELS have excelled at the summit. Congratulations to all involved. Read More

Accessible Publishing – 2021 DAISY Information Sharing Day (W)

Cover slide Accessible Publishing DAISY Information Sharing Day

Cover slide Accessible Publishing DAISY Information Sharing DayTowards the end of 2021 we held a special DAISY Information Sharing Day webinar. This part of the webinar was focused on Accessible Publishing.

This page contains:

Full Video of the Webinar


  • Richard Orme, The DAISY Consortium
  • Maarten Verboom, President of The DAISY Consortium
  • Avneesh Singh, The DAISY Consortium
  • George Kerscher, The DAISY Consortium
  • Gregorio Pellegrino, The LIA Foundation
  • Charles La Pierre, Benetech
  • Erin Lucas, RedShelf
  • Stacy Ray, Vital Source

Session Overview

Maarten Verboom opened the session by welcoming the large audience and explaining that this final session looks at the developments in accessible publishing that The DAISY Consortium have been involved in.

Avneesh Singh gave an overview of this final part of the day, describing briefly the projects and areas that will be looked at:

  • The European Accessibility Act Mapping Project. As EPUB Accessibility 1.1 nears Candidate Recommendation Stage (i.e. it is feature complete) it has been timely to look at whether it meets the requirements of the upcoming legislation, The European Accessibility Act.
  • The User Experience Guide to Displaying Accessibility Metadata. It has always been desirable that accessibility metadata should be included with publications. 2 years ago, VitalSource began displaying accessibility metadata as it appeared within an EPUB file and it became clear that the industry would benefit from guidance in how to present this machine readable information in a user friendly way. The development of the UX Guide is a major development for the presentation of metadata.
  • Reading Systems Evaluations Project. The reading systems evaluation project began in 2013 and is now managed and maintained by The DAISY Consortium via Test results from this project help developers to improve their ebook reading systems for people with disabilities.
  • Near Future Plans

European Accessibility Act Mapping

Gregorio Pellegrino described to us the focus of this project: Do the requirements of EPUB 1.1 meet the requirements of the European Accessibility Act? The EAA, which becomes law in 2025, requires ebooks to be born accessible and the European Commission is working on which standards support the requirements of the new directive. The short answer to the question posed is “yes” and Gregorio gave us detailed examples, backing this up. The European Commission is now evaluating the mapping document and it is expected that EPUB will be deemed a suitable standard for accessible ebooks.

The User Experience Guide for Displaying Accessibility Metadata

George Kerscher and Charles La Pierre presented the newly launched UX guide which was edited by Charles and Gregorio. User want to be able to discover content which meets their needs but in today’s market persons with disabilities do not know if they will be able to read a title or not. The good news is that there are many more born accessible publications available but it remains difficult to discover these and we need a consistent method for displaying this information in a user friendly manner.

The UX guide is divided into 2 parts: principles and techniques. The principles section looks at the key information that is required by the user and suggests a method of display that makes it straight forward for the purchaser to identify if a title meets their needs. For example; the metadata string in which reads “Access mode sufficient = textual” can actually be presented as “screen reader friendly”. A much more palatable solution!

Reading Systems Evaluations Project

Richard Orme, Erin Lucas and Stacy Ray presented the project which has become increasingly important for reading system developers as they work to improve the accessibility of their reading solutions. The consistent evaluation across platforms is welcomed together with the thorough feedback. Participation is welcomed from developers, publishers and testers globally.

Near Future Plans

Avneesh Singh completed the session by describing the focus of the near future:

  • EPUB 1.1 – driving this specification through to Final Recommendation Stage
  • UX Guide – Further improvements from feedback and continued work on the harmonization of metadata standards
  • Accessibility Summary – Publishers would welcome best practice guidance on completing the only human readable accessibility metadata field and work has begun on the development of this documentation.
  • Publishing Specification of the Future – DAISY is involved in current discussion on what the next major publishing specification might be
  • Reading Systems – testing continues particularly for Math ML and Extended Descriptions

Related Resources

Discover the other webinars we’re running!


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Member Activities – 2021 DAISY Information Sharing Day (W)

Cover slide Member Activities DAISY Information Sharing Day

Cover slide Member Activities DAISY Information Sharing DayTowards the end of 2021 we held a special DAISY Information Sharing Day webinar. This part of the webinar introduced some of the innovative activities involving DAISY Members.

This page contains:


  • Richard Orme, The DAISY Consortium
  • Maarten Verboom, President of The DAISY Consortium
  • Hiroshi Kawamura, ATDO
  • John Brown, NLS
  • Dave Williams, RNIB
  • Paul Porter, RNIB
  • Daniel Ainjasoja, Pratsam
  • Georgine Auma, eKitabu
  • Brad Turner, Bookshare

Session Overview

Maarten Verboom opened the day by welcoming the large audience and explaining that this second session focuses on the activities currently being undertaken by DAISY members.

DAISY in Egypt

DAISY in Egypt transcript
Hiroshi Kawamura spoke about the DAISY in Egypt project being run by the Accessible Technology Development Organization (ATDO), The Japan International Cooperation Agency, Egyptian Government partners and other Business partners to further the development of DAISY and accessible EPUB. Capacity building for multi-media trainers has gone well together with the development of an environment that can support this work. Next steps include: Internationalization of the EPUB Accessibility specification for use in Arabic together, making COVID 19 documentation accessible in Arabic,  and the introduction of school text books with human narration that is synchronized with the full text.

Next steps include exploring the possibility of a twinning program via an International Cooperation, for Egyptian EPUB and DAISY producers with libraries who are looking to outsource to companies for Arabic content. The ABC resource sharing system could be particularly beneficial in this scenario.

Digital Braille Innovations

Digital Braille Innovations transcript
This presentation explored the work of two major braille libraries who are expanding their braille options for readers.

John Brown from the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled in the US (NLS) presented work on the new electronic braille reader that NLS have developed which represents a huge shift in focus for the organization who can now offer electronic braille as a primary means of distribution. This small, compact device has been met with a terrific response from patrons and readers. Plans for the future include introducing compatibility with other formats (specifically EPUB), exploring the possibility of offering magazines to readers which would greatly boost the volume of content available.

Dave Williams and Paul Porter, RNIB, impressed us with the word they have been focusing on during the pandemic which initially forced them to suspend their hard copy braille library service. In response to this challenge, RNIB accelerated the digital transformation work for members, offering them a free electronic braille display together with a memory card holding thousands of titles. The ORBIT display can also be used to access millions of commercial, mainstream books. Alongside this RNIB also brought their hard copy offering via a print on demand braille service, managing the needs of all their readers.

Voice Assistants and DAISY Online

Voice Assistants and DAISY Online transcript
The possibility of being able to leverage the new and exciting voice technology, such as Alexa or Google Assistant, is being explored by Pratsam in Finland in conjunction with DAISY members. Pratsam is a software developer, engaged in the development and delivery of systems for the production, distribution and playback of accessible books and newspapers.  The Pratsam Reader Voice service supports the DAISY 2.02 specification and the DAISY online delivery protocol, enabling organizations to provide end-users with accessible content. Currently available on the Google Assistant platform, it is also being developed for Amazon Alexa. The following video explains how this works and features that are included, together with information on what has been learned along the way.

Sign Language Video in Accessible Digital Content

Sign Language Video in Accessible Digital Content transcript
Georgine Auma presented a technical note on guidance for including sign language videos in accessible digital publishing which was published by UNICEF in 2021. The video includes details of the 8 key accessibility features that should be included within a sign language video. After the production of quality sign language all of the content is packaged using the EPUB format. EPUB meets the required accessibility needs for deaf and hard of hearing users – an example of an accessible EPUB with embedded sign language video was shown. For further information and technical resources watch through to the end of the video!

Leveraging Machine Learning with Page AI

Page AI transcript
Brad Turner presented the Bookshare project, Page AI which focuses on transforming PDF to EPUB. The process of transforming PDF traditionally results in problems with image retention, math is not accessible, and it can be a very slow and costly process. Positive results in the development of Math Detective led the Bookshare team to consider automating the PDF transformation process. The Page AI project breaks down text book pages into segments and has trained the AI to interpret the elements – have a look at the video for a demo of this new technology, showing how this information is synthesized into XHTML files. Significantly faster and cheaper this new technology allows Bookshare to fulfill requests much more efficiently.

Related resources:

DAISY Activities at the Information Sharing Day
Accessible Publishing at the Information Sharing Day

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DAISY Activities – 2021 DAISY Information Sharing Day (W)

Cover slide DAISY Activities DAISY Information Sharing Day

Cover slide DAISY Activities DAISY Information Sharing DayTowards the end of 2021 we held a special DAISY Information Sharing Day webinar. This part of the webinar highlights some of the activities DAISY is engaged with. This overview below will direct you to individual videos detailing these projects and work.

This page contains:

Speaker Information

  • Richard Orme, DAISY Consortium
  • Maarten Verboom, President of the DAISY Consortium
  • Avneesh Singh, DAISY Consortium
  • Jostein Austvik Jacobsen, NLB
  • Marisa DeMeglio, DAISY Consortium
  • Dipendra Manocha, DAISY Consortium
  • Thomas Kahlisch, Chair of the European Inclusive Publishing Forum
  • Sarah Morley Wilkins, DAISY Consortium

Session Overview

Welcome video transcript
Maarten Verboom opened the session by welcoming the large audience and explaining that this first hour looks at the activities currently being undertaken by The DAISY Consortium via 6 presentations.

DAISY Project Highlights

DAISY Project Highlights transcript
Avneesh Singh gave us an overview of some of the core activities undertaken by The DAISY Consortium.

  1. Standards work where DAISY drives the inclusion of accessibility within mainstream publishing standards. Recent updates in this area include: EPUB Accessibility 1.1 which is approaching Candidate Recommendation stage, the launch of the User Experience Guide for Displaying Accessibility Metadata (more about this in the Publisher Information session)  and continuing contributions to WCAG 3.0.
  2. DAISY Pipeline Case Study which is the backbone of many of the workflows of DAISY Members. Recent work includes the development of a new MS Word plug-in.
  3. DAISY Tools: WordToEPUB version 1.0.7, Obi version 4.7 and the continued maintenance of Tobi
  4. Transition to EPUB 3 and the work of the production processes group and the reading systems testing group (more about this in the Publisher Information session).
  5. Accessibility Baseline Project for establishing and driving inclusive publishing worldwide, originally a Google Impact funded project and still driving work on tools such as Ace by DAISY and Ace SMART alongside the Inclusive Publishing website.

DAISY Pipeline Case Study

DAISY Pipeline Case Study transcript
Jostein Ausvik Jacobsen gave us an overview of the production workflow at NLB and how files progress from source files, through pre-production, conversion, post-production and, finally, distribution. Workflows for braille, TTS narration, human narration (including a hybrid version) and ebooks were outlined. Jostein explained which Pipeline versions are used and why for each specific workflow.

Accessible Books on the Web

Accessible Books on the Web transcript
Marisa DeMeglio, DAISY software developer, described this project which aims to create a completely accessible reading experience within the web browser, leveraging native web technologies: the creation of browser-ready content which offers text and text + audio accessible reading experiences. This includes offering full navigation, playback of synchronized audio and the ability to make visual adjustments. A traditional DAISY book requires specialized software to open and read the content. By building the controls into the book itself, we can use the browser as the platform with the reassurance that web accessibility practices are already in place. Watch the video above for demos of all the features!

Capacity Building During Covid Times

Capacity Building During Covid Times transcript
Dipendra Manocha explained some of the challenges that The DAISY Consortium has had to overcome during the pandemic: onsite training could not continue, the ABC capacity building projects were put on hold and workshops, orientation sessions and awareness based work were postponed. The development of a bespoke LMS allowed DAISY to deliver a huge variety of content and training modules, enabling ABC to deliver on training commitments as part of their capacity building projects in 14 countries. The advantages for trainees of being able to learn at their own pace are huge, allowing them access to quality instructional materials for an extended period of time.

Preparing for the Revolution in Born Accessible Publishing in Europe

Preparing for the Revolution transcript
Thomas Kahlisch introduced the work of the European Inclusive Publishing Forum, set up to concentrate on the new landmark legislation The European Accessibility Act. The legislation dictates a minimum set of requirements for the production of accessible goods and services, including ereaders and ebooks. The forum has established a mechanism for stakeholders to work collaboratively both in Europe and internationally.

Information and resources surrounding the EAA and the work of this project group are available at which Thomas presented in his session. A baseline survey and resulting case studies have been particularly welcomed.

Improving Access to Music Braille

DAISY Music Braille transcript
Dr Sarah Morley Wilkins is leading this project which focuses on securing the future of music braille production in the face of declining expertise, a lack of suitable conversion tools and file format standards. Activities include the development of a professional conversion tool for transcribers, an interactive end-user tool, influencing file format standards and inclusive publishing practices together with the maintenance of an international stakeholder group.

Sarah shared with us information on the development of 2 important tools: Firstly, MakeBraille (dzb lesen), the online professional automatic conversion tool for transcribers which takes well marked up scanned music files and well structured music XML files and converts them into music braille. With prioritized feature request from the project’s stakeholder group, this tool will be available via a license agreement in 2022.

Secondly SMB-MuseScore, a free interactive tool for end-users that offers a fully interactive, multi-media music notation editing tool for creating, reading and exploring music independently in speech, sound and braille.

Other project activities include: work on music file standards, work on a music braille network, exploring the possibility of inclusive music publishing for the creation of born accessible music scores, access to online collections and the promotion of teaching and learning resources.

Related Resources

Member Activities at the Information Sharing Day
Accessible Publishing at the Information Sharing Day

Discover the other webinars we’re running!

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EU Accessibility Act: Update (W)

EU Accessibility Act - Update Cover slide

EU Accessibility Act - Update Cover slideIn our series of free weekly webinars December 1st saw a session focused on the European Accessibility Act giving us a chance to check-in and find out the latest updates as we prepare for the act.

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Full Video of the Webinar


  • Richard Orme, DAISY Consortium—host and chair
  • Antoine Fobe, European Blind Union
  • Cristina Mussinellim, The LIA Foundation
  • Thomas Kahlisch, dzb lesen

with contributions from:

  • Louis Marle, Albin Michel, France
  • Oscar Heslinga, Inginitas Learning, Netherlands
  • Jonas Lillqvist, Svenska Litteratursällskapet, Finland

Session Overview

This webinar discussed the implementation progress and latest developments in EAA legislation which is already shaping practices in Europe and around the world. Many organizations that sell into Europe are having to adapt their practices to comply with the new accessibility requirements.

The European Accessibility Act: Why, What and When?

Antoine Forbe began the webinar by giving us an essential refresher to the EAA, reminding us that it is essential for approx 80 million people in Europe who rely on accessible content. It became necessary to develop a single, coherent set of accessibility rules and in 2015 the European Commission proposed a wide-reaching accessibility act. After long periods of negotiation, the EAA was adopted in 2019, creating an obligation for member states to ensure that selected products and services placed in the EU market comply with accessibility requirements. There are many benefits, including:

For Businesses

  • A reduction in costs for the production of accessible goods
  • Easier cross border trading
  • Marketing opportunities for accessible products and services

For Citizens

  • More accessible products in the market
  • Competitively priced products
  • Fewer barriers to access
  • More jobs where accessibility expertise is needed

The act is not truly horizontal in that it applies to only a select list of products and services, with specific emphasis on digital. It does, however, bring a comprehensive set of minimum accessibility requirements that all businesses must respect and this is a wonderful step in the right direction. The act will have a wide impact on the publishing industry throughout the supply chain.

Requiring national transposition by June 2022, the EAA is in fact a directive, the entry into force date is 2025.

Update on Technical Developments

Cristina Mussinelli spoke to us about digital publishing standards that are important in meeting the requirements of the EAA directive.

EPUB offers the greatest opportunity for the econtent itself and a new version, EPUB 3.3, is due to be published soon. Accessibility requirements are one of the main areas of focus within the standard and it is accompanied by EPUB Accessibility 1.1, an accessibility specification together with the Digital Publishing WAI-ARIA Module 1.1.

Metadata standards are vital for the end-user in order to inform the reader about accessible content. The following standards need to be adhered to: within the EPUB package, ONIX to directly inform the retailer and coming soon, a standardized method of describing content accessibility from W3C.

Work and research have been completed to make sure that these standards are robust enough to meet the requirements of the EAA.

For retailers and libraries, the W3C has recently published the User Experience Guide for Displaying Accessibility Metadata 1.0

Work continues in this area to look at other ebook formats, all the various departments in the publishing supply chain and a focus on end user awareness.

DAISY’s EU Inclusive Publishing Initiative

Thomas Kahlisch explained the work of The DAISY Consortium and its efforts to improve collaboration between the organizations involved in the EAA and the publishing industry via a community network.

Areas of focus include: guidance, survey, case studies and signposting of resources. The survey was sent out to all EU countries and we have heard back from 14 (74% of the market). The complete findings will be published in January 2022 but results already show that countries are at very different stages in their preparation for the EAA. Some countries have steering groups which help to connect and collaborate both nationally and internationally.

Case studies from Finland, The Netherlands, Germany and Italy look more closely at some of the preparatory details and materials that are already being used and we look forward to publishing more of these country-specific studies as part of the EU Inclusive Publishing Initiative.

Thomas finished by drawing attention to the variety of resources available on this good work at Inclusive Publishing’s EAA Resource page which includes details of how to collaborate with the EU Inclusive Publishing Initiative.

Publisher Voices

Previous webinars about the EAA have emphasized the importance of starting to prepare now for 2025 and many publishers have begun their journey towards accessible publishing already. We heard from Luis Marle, Albin Michel, France; Oscar Heslinga, Inginitas Learning, Netherlands; Jonas Lillqvist, Svenska Litteratursällskapet, Finland on the progress they have been making, informing us of some of the lessons they learned on the way. Please take the time to listen to their extremely useful advice.

Related Resources

Legislation Resources

Standards and Technical Developments

Communication Activities

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Creating and Editing Accessible EPUB (W)

Title slide: Creating & Editing Accessible EPUB

Title slide: Creating and Editing Accessible EPUBIn our series of free weekly webinars November 17th saw a session focused on “Creating and Editing Accessible EPUB”. This webinar follows our previous session on Validating and Conformance Checking EPUBs.

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Full Video of the Webinar


  • Dawn Evans, AccessText Network—host and chair
  • Richard Orme, DAISY Consortium
  • Amit Verma, InDesign Trainer
  • Marianne Gulstad, Publizon

Session Overview

Dawn Evans introduced today’s session by explaining how the panel of experts would guide us through a journey from content creation in mainstream tools and conversion processes, to how the resulting EPUB can be edited and amended to deliver accessible content for use by anyone.

Workflow Options for Accessible EPUB


Amit discussed how to produce accessible content using InDesign:

  • Why and When to Use InDesign. InDesign is used by content creators to produce both print and digital publications. Once you have converted your InDesign file to EPUB there are a number of modifications that can be made to improve the overall accessibility of the content.
  • How to Use Accessible EPUBs with InDesign. Very often we hear that InDesign does not produce good EPUB files but if certain steps are followed, much of this can be avoided: use well-defined styles, anchor the images at the correct places, add ALT text to images and define the layout order using the story or articles panel, generate a well-defined TOC, insert chapter breaks and last but not least, making sure that the content structure is well defined with the correct HTML mapping headings. Watch the webinar recording to see examples of these.
  • InDesign + Circular Software. At this point in the webinar, Richard Orme conducted a brief interview with Ken Jones, Founder and Director of Circular Software to hear what he has been working on to make this process easier. The “no code accessibility” tools that Circular software has developed assist with the export of InDesign to accessible EPUB, making this a much easier process for users.

PressBooks, Hederis: Web-Based Services

Richard talked us through both of these platforms, with consideration given to the accessibility support offered and how he found the experience. Both platforms fared well in his assessments and it’s worth checking out both in the recording or transcript for details.

Google Docs, Apple Pages, Word: Word Processing Options

Richard discussed these options and the accessibility support they offer, emphasizing that in all cases it is vital to start with a well-structured document. Google Docs offers a “nearly valid” EPUB with some limitations which were outlined. Sadly an EPUB generated from Google Docs is not really fit for purpose in terms of accessibility.

Using Apple Pages resulted in “valid” EPUB. There are some missing elements but overall it is fairly clean.

And finally, Microsoft Word using WordToEPUB which also produces “valid” EPUB with the option to include many other accessibility features on top of the basic set including being able to integrate quality assurance tools to check accessibility (such as Ace by DAISY).

Editing EPUB to Improve Accessibility

Marianne Gulstad described the two ways to edit EPUBs:

  1. you can unzip the EPUB container and use any editing tool to change the text before using a specialist tool to rezip the EPUB archive.
  2. or you make life easier and use an EPUB editor. There are a number of EPUB editors that can open, edit and save edits such as Sigil, Calibre, Oxygen, Scrivener, Jutoh and Blue Griffon. Marianne took a close look at Sigil giving lots of examples and demos and showing how this editor can be used to check the EPUB using EPUBCheck.

Related Resources

EPUB testing

InDesign Resources

Web-based EPUB Production Services

Note: many other web-based EPUB conversion and production tools exist, this is not a comprehensive list or an endorsement of these services over others.

GrackleDocs – Google Docs accessibility plugin

Desktop EPUB Production Tools

Useful Sigil Tutorials

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Validating and Conformance Checking of EPUB (W)

Title slide: Validating and Conformance Checking EPUB

Title slide: Validating and Conformance Checking EPUBIn our series of free weekly webinars November 3rd saw a session focused on the validation and conformance of EPUB content. When using the EPUB format a few simple steps can help highlight any issues and guide you on the path to creating more usable and accessible content.

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Full Video of the Webinar


  • Richard Orme, DAISY Consortium—host and chair
  • George Kerscher, DAISY Consortium
  • James Yanchak, Taylor and Francis
  • Charles La Pierre, Benetech

Session Overview

Richard Orme introduced this session explaining that it’s not enough to create content in any format and simply hope it works on reading systems and that it can deliver accessibility. The three experts presenting this webinar looked at validating EPUB from their perspective angles.

What Is An Accessible EPUB?

Many publishers have switched to EPUB as their format of choice for their digital content workflow but, despite it being the format which offers the greatest opportunity for accessibility, some have missed the mark. By failing to include a table of contents, for example, or by not having a clear reading order, EPUB content was often disappointingly lacking in accessibility support. For an EPUB file to be accessible, the publisher must make the most of the features that the format offers.

An understanding of this together with knowledge of the legal requirements in your market are a good place to start an accessibility journey. Add to this an alignment with publishing and web standards and some technical research to provide a base of knowledge and publishers should be in a position to make the most of their EPUB workflow.

3rd Party Certification

Having a 3rd party certify your accessible content helps the publisher to navigate the standards and specifications and Charles La Pierre talked us through the Benetech Scheme, Global Certified Accessible (GCA), outlining the process required for a publisher to be certified. A score is attached and for content to be certified as Born Accessible, 80% is needed.

Developing Internal Standards

Internal standards help the publisher to narrow the technical landscape and make it relevant to their specific workflow. James Yanchak described how this is achieved at Taylor and Francis and explained how this has helped them to reach their accessibility goals. Any internal standard must adhere to the industry standard and it’s vital that training is offered to both in-house colleagues and external vendors.

Validating the EPUB

There are a number of tools which our panel recommended:

  • EPUBCheck – should be one of the first checks and if this is integrated into the workflow using the command line version then it becomes very straightforward.
  • Ace by DAISY – checks conformance of the EPUB to WCAG and offers a command-line version and a desktop version for one-off title checks
  • Ace SMART – to be used in conjunction with Ace and helps the user perform the manual checks that Ace identifies.
  • The DAISY Knowledge Base has been developed to help resolve accessibility issues and is constantly maintained.

All of these stages and checks are important to establish accessibility and “trust” in the end product. A reader needs to be able to trust the accessibility summary and metadata so that they can make the correct purchasing decisions.

Related Resources


Accessibility Criteria

Tools and Resources

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Creating and Reading Accessible Math (W)

Creating and Reading Accessible Math title slide

Creating and Reading Accessible Math title slideIn our series of free weekly webinars October 20th saw a session focused on accessible math and some of the complexities surrounding the creation and reading of math for students.

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Full Video of the Webinar


  • Stacy Scott, RNIB, host and chair
  • Richard Orme, The DAISY Consortium
  • Joseph Polizzotto, Wake Technical Community College
  • Neil Soiffer, Talking Cat Software
  • Homiyar Mobedji, Benetech

Session Overview

Stacy Scott introduced this week’s session explaining that the presentation would remove some of the complexities surrounding the creation of accessible math by talking us through the workflow required and showing us via demos and examples that accessible math is achievable and relatively straightforward. Support for accessible math has improved greatly over recent years and it’s exciting to be able to show our audience some of the new methods, tools and solutions in this area.

Page Image

Neil Soiffer gave us a quick run through of the various math formats that are in existence and Joseph Polizzotto then explained where to start if the math in question isn’t available in one of these specific math formats and is appearing as an inaccessible image. OCR can help in this situation and there are various options here depending on your role and the scale of work involved eg. EquatIO, MathPix and Infty Reader. OCR can either be used on the fly for individual math expressions or it can be used to convert an entire document and Joseph talked us through the pros and cons of each tool in these scenarios, ending with an example of EquatIO in action.

Editing Math Equations in Word

Richard Orme discussed the next stage in a math workflow now that the math expression is in a word document but may require some editing. Currently there are 2 options here: the Microsoft Equation Editor, a built-in method with various options available for editing math expressions, and MathType, a powerful equation editor with lots of different integrations (and relatively affordable).

From Word to the Web

There are three routes to publishing your word document on the web:

  • Word-Save as web page
  • MathType-Publish as math page
  • WordToEPUB-creates an HTML version

Reading Math on the Web and with a Screen Reader

Joseph explained that in an educational environment, the Learning Management System provides a way to share contents with students. All institutions are different but it has become recommended best practice to use MathJax to render math in all types of browsers and LMS. MathJax provides consistent display and ensures that the math remains accessible. Joseph’s top tips are worth noting alongside the demo of math being rendered in the LMS, Blackboard. Neil talked the audience through the finer details of how to read math using a screen reader showing us examples and demos that highlighted some of the options and choices that the reader has available to them.

Related Resources

Tools mentioned in the webinar:

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EPUB Accessibility 101 (W)

EPUB Accessibility 101 Title Slide

EPUB Accessibility 101 Title SlideIn our series of free weekly webinars October 6th saw a session focused on EPUB Accessibility. Our speakers showed everyone what happens under the hood of an EPUB file to support accessibility and managed to demystify some of the technicalities surrounding EPUB.

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Full Video of the Webinar


  • Richard Orme, The DAISY Consortium—host and chair
  • Rachel Comerford, Macmillan Learning
  • Tzviya Siegman, J. Wiley and Sons

Session Overview

What is EPUB? The Basics

Rachel Comerford took us through some of the “acronym soup” that makes up an EPUB file, namely:

  • Mimetype – which tells the reading system being used that this is an EPUB file
  • META-INF – which points to the file and allows the reading system to find it
  • OEPS-OPS – containing the content and everything needed to display that content (including the CSS which describes how the book should look)

What is EPUB? Focus on HTML

The text of an EPUB publication is written in HyperText Mark-Up Language (HTML) and Tzviya Siegman explained to us the importance for accessibility of the native semantic elements that can be conveyed within the HTML. Every element in the HTML mark-up contains a meaning and greatly assists with content navigation and order of reading layout.

What is EPUB? Focus on DPUB-ARIA and epub:type

Sometimes content is more complex than the available HTML elements can cope with and Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) provide another way of applying semantic meaning to content i.e. it describes a content component to the reader. DPUB-ARIA specifically maps to the epub:type vocabulary for EPUB content.

Navigating EPUBS

Rachel explained that all EPUB packages contain a navigation document (within the OPF file) from which the Table of Contents (TOC) is generated. The TOC is crucial for accessibility and together with headings, it generally echoes the familiar structure of printed content.

Links are also valuable for accessibility and it’s important to choose a reading system that exposes internal and external links to the reader.

The Value of EPUB Metadata

Also found in the OPF file, EPUB metadata provides information about the accessibility features and potential limitations of the content. Rachel urged us all to make as much use of metadata features as possible, not least via The Accessibility Summary section where the publisher can provide specific information for readers in a non-technical way. See the slide deck attached to this overview for a terrific example of this type of summary provided by Macmillan Learning.

Related Resources

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DAISY Information Sharing Day

Photo of a mobile phone showing "DAISY Information Sharing Day Thursday Oct 14th"

Photo of a mobile phone showing "DAISY Information Sharing Day Thursday Oct 14th"On Thursday October 14th we will be hosting a free information sharing day via Zoom, bringing you updates on a broad range of projects and activities from DAISY and our member organizations. We’ve divided the session into 3 parts to enable easy access to the topics you find of most interest.

You only need to register once for free to attend any part of the webinar.

Part A: Update on DAISY Projects

Starting at 1200 Universal Time (500 PDT, 800 EDT, 1300 BST, 1400 CEST)


Maarten Verboom, President of the DAISY Consortium

DAISY Projects highlights

Update on various projects driven by the DAISY Consortium.

Avneesh Singh, DAISY Consortium

DAISY Pipeline case study

How NLB is leveraging the DAISY Pipeline for production of accessible content.

Jostein Austvik Jacobsen, NLB

DAISY reading experience in your Browser!

What if your favorite DAISY full text full audio or EPUB Media Overlays titles start working on your favorite browser? This will be a game changer not only for making reading more convenient but will also empower the reach of accessible reading to parts of the world which cannot invest in reading solutions due to resource constraints. This presentation will provide a glimpse of the research being done in this direction.

Marisa DeMeglio, DAISY Consortium

Responding to COVID with DAISY Online Training

Dipendra Manocha, DAISY Consortium

Preparing for the revolution in born accessible publishing in Europe

Reporting on the first year of the DAISY European Inclusive Publishing initiative.

Thomas Kahlisch, dzb

Improving access to music braille

Update on the achievements of the DAISY Braille Music project in 2021, and next steps.

Sarah Morley Wilkins, Project Manager, DAISY Consortium

Part B: Updates from DAISY Members

Starting at 1300 Universal Time (600 PDT, 900 EDT, 1400 BST, 1500 CEST)

DAISY in Egypt

This cooperation initiative raises awareness of the challenges encountered by persons with print disabilities in the COVID-19 Pandemic situation, promotes the provision of accessible publications such as DAISY as well as encourage the acceleration of Egyptian Ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty.

Hiroshi Kawamura, ATDO, Japan

Digital braille innovations

Two major braille libraries share will experiences and plans as they expand digital braille reading options for their users.

John Brown, NLS, USA, Dave Williams and Paul Porter, RNIB, UK

Voice Assistants and DAISY Online

Connecting Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant to DAISY Online.

Daniel Ainasoja, Pratsam, Finland

Sign language video in digital publications

How Kenyan education content organization eKitabu is creating early grade reading materials for deaf readers.

Georgine Auma, Digital Literacy Trust, Kenya

Leveraging Machine Learning with Page AI

Bookshare’s latest developments in advanced artificial intelligence for better book conversion.

Brad Turner, Benetech, USA

Part C: Accessible Mainstream Publishing

Starting at 1400 Universal Time (700 PDT, 1000 EDT, 1500 BST, 1600 CEST)

The born accessible movement has been gaining momentum in different parts of the world. We will share information how the DAISY Consortium, members and partners are accelerating the global movement towards publish, discover, buy and borrow accessible publications.

We will highlight the new standards and guidelines raising the bar for accessibility that are aligned with the EU Accessibility Directive, facilitating search and discovery, and will also provide a glimpse of the near future plans. And we will share how a DAISY led initiative helps developers improve their eBook reading systems for people with print disabilities, and guides consumers and institutional purchasers to select the solutions that meet their accessibility requirements.

Avneesh Singh, George Kerscher, Richard Orme, DAISY Consortium; Charles LaPierre, Benetech, USA; Erin Kirchner-Lucas, RedShelf, USA; Gregorio Pellegrino, Fondazione LIA; Stacy Ray, VitalSource, USA

Register now to attend any part of this webinar.

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