TOC Bologna 2012: The Lia Project: Providing Accessible Books in EPUB for People with Reading Disabilities (Cristina Mussinelli)
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TOC Bologna 2012: The Lia Project: Providing Accessible Books in EPUB for People with Reading Disabilities (Cristina Mussinelli)



LIA – Libri Italiani Accessibili is a biennial project started in 2011, coordinated by Ediser, a service company owned by Associazione Italiana Editori (Italian Publishers Association), and funded ...

LIA – Libri Italiani Accessibili is a biennial project started in 2011, coordinated by Ediser, a service company owned by Associazione Italiana Editori (Italian Publishers Association), and funded by the Italian Ministry for Culture. Its aim is to provide a service able to increase the availability of digital publications accessible for blind and visual impaired in full respect of both authors’ and publishers’ rights, through the creation of an online catalogue of 3,000 titles. The guiding concept of the project is to make accessibility part of mainstream production and distribution flows in publishing industry. At the end of the first year of work, focused on several introductory studies, the format identified as the most suitable to achieve this objective is EPUB 3, in line with general technological evolution, and able to allow publishers to adjust the way they produce their ebooks, without radically changing it.
Speakers: Cristina Mussinelli



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    TOC Bologna 2012: The Lia Project: Providing Accessible Books in EPUB for People with Reading Disabilities (Cristina Mussinelli) TOC Bologna 2012: The Lia Project: Providing Accessible Books in EPUB for People with Reading Disabilities (Cristina Mussinelli) Presentation Transcript

    • RNIB - Id miss - A World Without Books RNIB - Id miss - A World Without Books - YouTube 2
    • In 2008, the Spanish National Organization of the Blind(ONCE), in co-operation with the Children’s Committeeof the World Blind Union (WBU) hosted aninternational congress in one of its educationalresource centers. Its aim was to facilitate a gatheringof blind and partially sighted teenagers from thedifferent regions of the world and enable them toreflect on their lives and put forward their demandsand needs.The concerns of the children from industrializedcountries focus on social affairs:not wanting to feel or look different from their peers;accessing information; feeling happy withthemselves as people with a visual impairment; andfeeling integrated.
    • Internationally the issues of accessibility and inclusion have gained momentum andthere are several initiatives and projects going on at institutional level.Publishing is involved at every level of accessibility initiative, from work with theWorld Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on a worldwide standard of bestpractice for accessibility to individual company action.Alliances are consolidating between groups representing those with print disabilitiesand those supporting the publishing industry: Royal National Institute for the Blind(RNIB), Publishers Licensing Society (PLS), JISC TechDis support work on largeprint sales models, accessible e-book platforms and guidance on obtaining textbooks inalternative formats to name just a few examples.At European level, projects such as ETIN and eAccess+ are also focusing onaccessibility of contents.Print disabilities, including blindness and low vision, affect a consistent part ofpopulation all over Europe, the more so if we consider overall ageing population.
    • The LIA Project – Libri Italiani Accessibili aims at providing a service able toincrease the availability on the market of digital publications accessible for blindand visual impaired.The Project is coordinated by Associazione Italiana Editori, (Italian PublishersAssociation) and managed by its service company Ediser working in collaborationwith the Italian Blind Union.It is funded by the Italian Ministry for Culture in compliance with the “Fund infavour of publishing for blind and visual impaired”.The Project aims at creating an online catalogue of 3,000 accessible titlesincluding fiction and essays from Italian and foreign authors that will be thenupdate in the following years.The funding idea is to include accessibility in mainstream production anddistribution flows rather than to create a dedicated stream. Such outline willadvantage blind and visual impaired as they will be able to purchase and/or lendebooks at the same conditions than sighted readers (in terms of channels andtime), with tangible benefits for their inclusion in wider socio-cultural terms. 5
    • The Project, set off in 2011, is biennial and can be divided in two stages:a pilot stage and a working stage.During the first stage, ended by the end of 2011, preliminary studies necessary todefine all the aspects of service have been carried out.In particular:• Survey on reading habits and use of technologies by blind and visual impaired;• Analysis of accessible production formats;• Accessibility tests;• Analysis of metadata;• Design of production, cataloguing and distribution flows of accessible versions. 6
    • THE SURVEYThe survey was carried out in 2011 in collaboration with Unione Italiana Ciechi(Italian Blind Union) and Conferenza Nazionale Universitaria dei Delegati per laDisabilità (National Conference of University Delegates for Disability). Scientificcoordination was made by the Milan University Università degli Studi Milano -Bicocca along with the main Italian survey company Doxa.The most significant result emerging from the survey, how much and how frequentlyblind and visual impaired read, highlights they are keen readers: in a sampletotaling 1,505 persons, the average of books read yearly is nine per capita, threetimes more than the national average of sighted readers.Survey also examined:• the relation between blind and visual impaired and reading;• availability and use by blind and visual impaired of reading digital devices such astablets, ereaders etc.In particular:• how much and how frequently blind and visual impaired read books;• which is or would be their favourite literary genre;• what reading instruments they use: formats, software and devices. 8
    • What about younger readers?The survey includes a qualitative focus with interviews to some secondary schoolstudents, emerging as equally keen readers as other age groups. Adults, bothteachers and parents, play a strong role in the choice of texts to convert intoBraille or audio book format. Kids are only marginally involved in selection,meaning the books at their disposal exclude best sellers and “must have” fortheir age, considered “non educational” by adults.LIA would aim at including in its catalogue a section of books for youngerblind and visual impaired readers meant to offer them equal access toentertainment and information as their sighted peers.The great majority of titles will be “pure text”books – more complex titles, such as illustratedbooks, will be carefully examined to understandthe difficulties in making such publicationsaccessible. 9
    • THE SURVEY Average number of per capita books read by visual impaired in the last 12 months: 9.2 Sighted readers of of at least one book in the Sighted readers at least one book in the last Sighted readers of at least one book in the last 12 months 46.8% last 12 months 46.8% 12 months 46.8% (Source: Istat 2010) (Source: Istat 2010) Average number of books read in preceding Average number of books read in preceding three months 2.71 three months 2.71 (Source Nielsen for Cebel 2010) (Source Nielsen for Cebel 2010) Every day Sometimes Once a week Sometimes Sometimes a week a month a year 10
    • THE SURVEY Digital formats 29.7% 11
    • FORMAT ANALYSIS AND ACCESSIBILITY TESTSThe operating structure of LIA, in tight cooperation with the major internationalprojects active in the field of accessibility, like ETIN at EC level, TIGAR under theaegis of WIPO, and organizations such as IDPF, identified the EPUB format as themost suitable standard for the production and distribution of the 3,000 accessibletitles foreseen as final objective of the project.This choice was made considering the following:• EPUB is presently the standard most used internationally by publishers forproducing ebooks;• EPUB 3.0 is a highly accessible format, as its specifics include those of theDAISY format, one of the most used standards for producing accessible contents.Namely, the accessibility of an EPUB 3 file is granted by an improved navigation ofcontents, possible thanks to a complete and flexible representation of content andto the use of semantic tags. 13
    • FORMAT ANALYSIS AND ACCESSIBILITY TESTSThe first phase of analysis took part in cooperation with national and internationalaccessibility experts and emphasized that digital file accessibility originates fromthe composite interaction of the following elements:• the file created by the publisher;• the reading software (assistive and/or mainstream);• the specific reading device;• the DRM type applied to the file;• the kind of disability of user.Contemporarily, tests were made on some EPUB 2 sample files provided bypublishers who agreed to join the pilot stage.The results allowed to define the characteristics an EPUB 2 or 3 must include to befully accessible. Such features were organized in a specific chart, shared withaccessibility experts. 14
    • ACCESSIBILITY GUIDELINESBest practice guidelines for publishers tofollow in their production process and,where appropriate, to integrate existingstandards (including ONIX, ePub and DAISY)into mainstream publishing are starting tocirculate.LIA has provided the translation into Italianof the Accessible Publishing, BestPractice Guidelines for Publishersrecently released by EDItEUR and produced Ebook accessibili: best Ebook accessibili: bestits Tagging best practice guide for practice di taggatura practice di taggaturaaccessible ebooks in Italian, available onrequest at LIA office.For further reference:
    • THE LIA CATALOGUEThe LIA catalogue will be available on the website the end of the project, the idea would be to have some 3,000 titles as wide-ranging as possible, ideally including best-sellers, literary prizes, with a specificsection for children and teens.• User searches for title inside the accessible ebooks catalogue;• User consults ebook metadata list including: - bibliographic indications; - accessibility metadata; - info on which online store/library has the accessible ebook for sale/lending.• Every chosen title will enter in an accessible order, transferred to the selectedonline store/library.• User will pay on the online store/library site.• Should the “LIA compliant” certified file be different from the file for sightedreaders, blind and visual impaired users could possibly be requested to produce amedical certificate in order to be authenticated as such. 18
    • LIA SERVICES FOR PUBLISHERS AND USERS• LIA will offer publishers training activities such as: - guidelines for the production of accessible ebooks; - dedicated training lessons on content accessibility; - support for the creation of accessible ebooks.• Conversion of EPUB 2 files into EPUB 3 accessible files (EPUB2 compliant);• “LIA compliant” certification of file accessibility;• Filling of accessibility metadata: code list 196 integrated in ONIX for Books v. 2.1 and 3.0• Users will find in a dedicated section of the site useful information on the use of technologies, tests on reading devices, updates on newest innovations. 19
    • The LIA Staff Project ManagerCristina Mussinelli Project Assistants Rosa Mugavero Alessandra Mutti Tel. +39.02 89280808 Fax +39.02 89280868 20