Accessible publishing and good practice
The latest articles in a series on good practice co-ordinated by Alistair McNaught of JISC TechDis.
If you would like to contribute, please email email@example.com
Load2Learn announces free membership for accessible online resources
Madeleine Penney, Marketing and PR manager for Load2Learn
Load2Learn, delivered by Dyslexia Action and the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), has announced that from January 2013 it is offering its accessible resources free to its 1,800 registered users. The service will be funded through sponsorship and donations.
Launched last year, Load2Learn is a new online resource which significantly improves the school experience for learners who can't read standard print by providing accessible and alternative textbooks and images. Registered users are validated prior to downloading files, to ensure that copyright requirements are met. This process ensures confirmation of legal entitlement before each download and a robust watermarking and reporting mechanism is also in place.
The service helps schools to better support learners with dyslexia, who are blind or partially sighted, or who have a disability by providing an extensive online collection of educational materials. Members can access over 1,900 titles including textbooks and 1,000 images downloadable as accessible documents.
Load2Learn offers many practical benefits to publishers:
- It provides direct request service to publishers for specific textbook files – faster, streamlined service for end users
- It reduces preparation time and costs of providing accessible copies
- It enables publishers to market Load2Learn as value-add service for schools
- It provides an additional marketing channel to all primary, secondary schools and FE colleges in England
- Supporting Load2Learn provides an opportunity to meet Corporate Social Responsibility objectives.
Load2Learn has also been shortlisted as a finalist in the BETT (British Educational Training and Technology) Awards 2013 in the Special Educational Needs ICT category.
Publishers interested in discussing how they might work with Load2Learn should contact Richard Orme at firstname.lastname@example.org or Paul Keenleyside at email@example.com
An event for e-book Publishers and Aggregators: e-books and Accessibility –Ugly Duckling or Adolescent Swan?
13 February 2013, 09.30-15.30 at The Chancellor’s Hall, Senate House, London WC13
This one day event will look the issues from all perspectives and will be of value to all concerned with academic publishing. You will be given an opportunity to understand an increasingly significant issue for the education sector see how others have responded and work out how to better target and market your products. Are you aware of the issues involved and do you know how you should be operating to meet the requirements of all your readers? Come and find out!
Speakers include Stephen King, President of the Daisy Consortium, Group Director at RNIB and former publishing professional and Dr Alicia Wise, Director of Universal Access, Elsevier.
Meet other publishers who are “getting it right” alongside industry professionals who can assist with training and best practice guidelines. Link up with proactive library and disability professionals with expertise in the area.
For more information on the day’s busy programme and to register online, please visit:
www.jisctechdis.ac.uk/techdis/events. The booking fee of £100 per delegate is payable via this site.
If readers would like to contribute to the accessibility section of this e-newsletter, please contact Alistair McNaught of JISC TechDis at firstname.lastname@example.org
Making PDFs more accessible
Alistair McNaught, Senior Advisor, JISC TechDis, November 2012
PDFs feature in the workflow of most publishers. PDFs can deliver a good level of accessibility for print disabled readers, for example, an accessible PDF will allow:
- navigation by bookmarks or heading levels – a benefit to blind users.
- fonts to be enlarged with text reflow – a benefit for partially sighted people
- font colours and contrasts to be changed and text to speech to operate – a benefit for dyslexic users.
For publishers selling into the education sector, your responsiveness to providing accessible alternative formats may be a factor influencing your placing on student reading lists.
A recent JISC TechDis case study shows how the Health and Safety Executive set up new procedures to maximise the accessibility of their publications – an approach that has made their workflow more accessible and also more efficient. The case study includes “before/after” examples and further sources of guidance.
Good to know...
The Publisher Lookup website puts education customers in direct contact with Publishers - with 4,000 hits a week it's worth being on it. Find this and more on the Celebrating Good Practice page.
RNIB + Booker Prize Foundation = accessible shortlist!
Helen Gunesekera, Media Development Officer at RNIB, November 2012
Congratulations to the authors and publishers of the books which made the Man Booker shortlist 2012 and of course to the winner, Hilary Mantel. It is great news that all the books on the shortlist are available as eBooks with text to speech enabled, and by the time the winner was announced all six were also available as unabridged audiobooks. This means that the books have the potential to be enjoyed by people who find it difficult to read standard print books because of sight loss or dyslexia. This would not have been possible just a few years ago.
As not everyone can benefit from eBooks and downloadable audiobooks yet, RNIB, which supports blind and partially sighted people, was delighted to work with the Booker Prize Foundation and publishers to also make the books available in Braille, Giant Print and DAISY audiobooks.
Find out more about the huge potential of eBooks at www.rnib.org.uk/publisheradvice and www.rnib.org.uk/ebooks