People in all parts of the publishing chain – from device manufacturers to those developing content platforms – must work together to improve e-book accessibility, delegates at the London Book Fair heard this month.
“No one player in the chain between author and reader can solve the problem of accessibility on their own … only through collaboration can we achieve our goal of delivering the content in ways and on platforms that suit the needs of particular readers”, Publishers Licensing Society (PLS) chairman Mark Bide told the fair’s seminar on accessible e-publishing.
The seminar is organised by the book industry standards body EDItEUR with the Royal National Institute of Blind People and The Publishers Association.
Speaking after the seminar, Bide told E-Access Bulletin the debate over e-book accessibility has shifted recently towards the need to ensure mainstream formats are flexible. “We are now increasingly focused on the importance of making mainstream e-books as accessible as possible, although we do not forget that there continues to be a need to facilitate access to specialist formats where no appropriate e-book is accessible”, he said.
“As with any other reader, we simply need to deliver the reading experience that [readers] require – whether it be large print, text-to-speech, different text or background colours”, Bide said.