U-M Press Ebook Accessibility Working Group Annual Report

by Charles Watkinson on August 9, 2017

U-M Press’ EBook Accessibility Working Group continues to make progress towards increasing the accessibility of the Press’ digital content and user experience. During the last year the group, working with authors and Press editors, created 4 fully-accessible titles (which includes alternative text and long descriptions of all images in the narrative) in the Press’ Corporealities: Discourses of Disability Book Series. The Working Group continues to evaluate and iterate upon the Press’ existing production workflows to make the creation of accessible EBooks an efficient process that can be extended to all U-M Press titles in the future. In addition to its work with accessible book, the Working Group also began working with its distributor, Chicago Distribution Center, to audit and make recommendations for the accessibility of its web shopping cart mechanism. This work helps to ensure the entire user experience with the U-M Press is an accessible experience.

The Working Group’s work has received attention from the wider publishing community, establishing U-M Press as a leader in the accessible publishing. The Press continued this leadership role in FY17 by organizing and hosting a Kress Foundation grant-funded workshop around the creation of Image Description Guidelines for the Humanities. The workshop brought together faculty in arts and humanities, museums, disability studies, and accessibility to discuss the description of images for accessible purposes. In addition to this work, members of the Working Group organized panels around accessibility for the American Association of University Presses annual meeting and presented at the 2017 EBookCraft Conference, North America’s premier publishing industry conference around EBook technology and standards.

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