NISO April 10 2013 Webinar: Universal Accessibility


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One of the exciting aspects of e-books and the newer standards for them is the ability content creators have to create a format that provides for accessibility for everyone. From individuals who are visually impaired to those that have cognitive or learning disabilities, all can all be accommodated with the latest dizzying array of devices that support a variety of functionality and multimedia. In this webinar you will learn about new and emerging technologies to provide universal accessibility, including built-in accessibility for textbooks and an open source platform.

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  • Briefly on structure and text…. Many publishers follow good practices already, though educational materials including STEM require lots of structure to be most usable.
  • Image: Screen shot of a biology book shown in the Bookshare Web Reader. There are two viewing panes. The left hand pane shows a well ordered structure of headings and sub-headings, going four layers deep, all selectable. The right hand pane shows an image with a description, an active link, and reflowable text.
  • First I’d like to tell you a little about Cengage Learning. We are a leading provider of innovative teaching, learning and research solutions for the academic, professional and library markets worldwide. Our products and services are designed to foster academic excellence and professional development, increase student engagement, improve learning outcomes and deliver authoritative information to people whenever and wherever they need it. Through our unique position within both the library and academic markets, Cengage Learning is providing integrated learning solutions that bridge the library to the classroom. Our brands include Brooks/Cole, Course Technology, Delmar, Gale, Heinle, South-Western, Wadsworth, among others.
  • My segment of this presentation will focus on how accessible print textbook formats have changed over the last 15 years.We’ll look at data trends from our customers for accessible alternate format requestsNext I’ll talk about some of the accessibility influences in the digital landscapeI’ll share our response to these influences and how we make our textbooks accessible I’ll remind us of the changing technological environment -Its challenges and opportunities and finally the Cengage Learning perspective on future considerations as we continue our journey to create digital solutions that provide accessibility for everyone.
  • Prior to the digital ebook revolution, if a student with a print disability needed special accommodations, we provided the textbook source file upon request. As with most Information technology, the format that customers asked for changed over time. Let me explain how the format changed over time by talking through this chart I am showing. In the late 90’s there were very few requests for textbook source files. And those few requests were for ASCIII format. The files were copied onto compact discs and dropped in the mail and the customer would typically receive them in about 14 days. Years later in 2003, Word documents were the most popular format requested with a notable increase in the number of requests for students with print disabilities. ASCII was almost non existent. PDF requests were just starting.Then in 2008 PDF saw a sharp uptick as the most requested textbook source file and today 2012-2013 PDF format is still the overwhelming majority , while Word continues to show signs of decline.This chart also shows consistent Increases in requests clearly indicating that demand is growing at the institution level for more accessible products.
  • With the increase in volume and the need to accommodate customers as efficiently as possible, we knew we needed to improve the classic textbook accommodation model. At the same time we saw that the industry was shifting towards digital. In 1991 the World Wide Web came into existence providing a whole new dimension on how we access content.In 2001 we had the ability to tag a PDF for better accessibility. It did provide some capacity to separate content from presentation but was still challenging for accessibility for individuals with print disabilities.The same year we heard about Web Content A11y Guidelines 2.0 in draft and available for public comment. Fondly known as “WiCAG” they are part of a series of Web accessibility guidelines published by the W3C and they cover a wide range of recommendations for making Web content more accessible.Just a few years later in 2005 we saw PDF/UA Universal Access intended to be the Standard for accessible PDF technology. but it lacked math support for users with print disabilities.2009 WCAG 2.0 was finally complete taking about 8years. Perhaps it took so long due to the ever changing accessible digital landscape.
  • Taking all data into consideration; our immediate customer needs came first so we streamlined internal workflows to readily create the source file formats that our customers wanted most. We saw how the format changed over time and so our workflows had to adapt as well. We provide for efficient Web based support via an online form for customer requests. Many of the source files can easily be downloaded almost immediately.Another way we provide for quick access to source files when needed is through the AccessText Network to which Cengage Learning is a co-founder and significant supporter. This service began in 2009 and is a web-based resource that enables its members to easily connect with publishers to obtain digital versions of, or permissions to create alternate textbook formats.While this helps bridge the gap for accessible textbook accommodations for the print disabled, we also needed to keep in mind the evolving accessible digital landscape and plan for the convergence of the print world with the digital world. We responded ..
  • …with the production of our first digital ebook. And now we have more than 90% of our print textbooks available in an accessible digital format on standards for creating ebooks include techniques like proper heading structure so users who are print impaired can use their screen readers to navigate a page of content like sighted users can. In this way they can skim major sections of text without necessarily needing to read each paragraph within. We have policies in place that require video components to have transcripts. Where there are links to other areas of content there needs to be a description so assistive technology announces specifically where the link will take them rather than the infamous “click here”. We don’t want our users to have to guess where there are going. Where there are images that are critical to the learning experience and the text description of the image is not already in the surrounding text, we provide text describing the purpose of the image so the print disabled as well as those users with certain cognitive impairments have the same learning experience as users who are sighted. We strive to serve a wider range of users.The print disabled are not the only consideration when we create our ebooks;. For example those users who have mobility impairments and cannot use a mouse can navigate using standard keyboard keys and know where they are on a page because we provide focus feedback ; meaning there is some unique way the button they have active stands out from all the others most notably with a change in the pattern of the button. For those users who are hearing impaired we ensure that audio content has close captioning. And for those users who have low vision we provide sufficient foreground and background color contrast so the text can be easily read.And while we were hopeful that the digital ebook solution would work for any one, any where, we are faced with ever changing technology.
  • Lets look closer at a few of the major components of the changing technologicallandscape since it helps set the stage for some of the challenges that we consider when building our accessible ebooks. When we think about OSs something that is accessible on the windows platform may not be accessible on the Apple iOSplatform. Or vice versa.
  • Similarly, different browsers on the market today have varying levels of accessibility. I only list a few of them here but some browsers do not support accessibility.
  • We add Assistive Technology and their varying support for accessibility. For example screen readers like some versions of JAWS can speak Basic Math content while another screen reader like NVDA cannot speak complex math content.
  • Let’s add evolving mobile device technology to the mix. Again, some have more support for accessibility than others. Add even more complexity is that all of these components involve many different players.
  • One of the fundamental challenges for us as a publisher in this environment is trying to make our accessible content work with all the other components and their varying levels of accessibility.As we continue to expand accessibility for all, as you can imagine this environment presents challenges and opportunities.
  • I am going to talk about just a few content challenges and a few technology challenges.Math and Chemistry content is still a challenge to make fully accessible.some browsers lack support for Math presentation and some screen readers lack support for math content. I mentioned that most have Basic Math speech , very few have advanced Math speech. We are watching closely and are piloting how best to integrate accessibility into the authoring of our Math content.Multimedia content can be a challenge particularly when a linked video from a third party does not have close captioning. Multimedia can also be interactive like drag and drop functionality. This content is complex for both users of assistive technology as well as users who cannot use a mouse.Moving on to some Technology challenges, I mentioned theexplosion of tablet computers and mobile devices some of which are not accessible.Assistive Technology is not keeping pace with content providers who are making accessible content like the Math content I already spoke about.The tools that authors use to create content are evolving. MS OFFICE 2010 has better accessibility guidance but older versions don’t and many authors still use older versions.Our composition tools are also getting better at helping us create more accessible files yet some areas are still evolving.I mentioned earlier how WiCAG came about to help make web content more accessible. We are hopeful that the new standards like the Section 508 Refresh will help all players in the environment by providing more opportunity to develop more accessible products.
  • As we at Cengage Learning look forward, and this is just one publishers perspective, I am going to share some of the areas that we think are important as we continuously seek to identify and evaluate opportunities for improving the accessibility and usability of our all of our digital products. Our internal communications are important to increase accessibility awareness throughout our organization As we learn what is happening externally we communicate that internally. We assimilate industry best practices with our Internal standards to guide our ally efforts. Using these standards we are better able to build accessibility farther upstream in our processes so that all new Cengage Learning products and services are designed with accessibility in mind. We seek collaborative solutions with others in the industry by remaining active in accessibility initiatives like Association of American Publishers, Software Information Industry Association, and IMS Global Learning Consortium who now has an Accessibility Leadership Team to which I was I am member.We invite users of all abilities to share suggestions for improving the accessibility of our digital products.We will continue to build relationships with the accessibility community and those committed to accessibility by telling our accessibility story. Thank you for the opportunity to share our accessibility successes at Cengage Learning.
  • NISO April 10 2013 Webinar: Universal Accessibility

    1. 1. NISO Webinar:Universal Accessibility:Creating E-Books Anyone Can ReadApril 10, 2013Speakers:Anne Taylor Director of Access Technology,National Federation for the Blind;Ginny Grant, Product Manager, Benetech;Michele Bruno Program Manager, Accessibility, Cengage Learning
    2. 2. eBook Access for EveryoneAnne TaylorDirector of Access TechnologyJernigan InstituteNational Federation of the Blind
    3. 3. National Federation of the BlindWhere do blind readers gettheir books? National Library Service for the Blind andPhysically Handicapped: Cartridges Downloads Learning Ally Bookshare AccessText Louis database Commercial audiobooks (e.g. Audible) Commercial eBooks (e.g. iBooks)
    4. 4. Mainstream eBooks Blio iBooks Google Play Books Overdrive on PC Nook iOS appNational Federation of the Blind
    5. 5. National Federation of the BlindThe Accessibility Gap The goal is not only equal access, but also equal userexperience Digital book formats can be translated into any desired format;but technology barriers are being created Format EPUB 3 Hardware Kindle Keyboard, Fire and PC: has TTS, but TTS is switchedoff for some books Sony reader is inaccessible Nook has partial accessibility (depending on the platform) iOS has the best user experience
    6. 6. National Federation of the BlindHow to implement accessibleeBook solutions Target formats EPUB DAISY Accessible HTML (WAI guidelines) XML Braille output Platform Ensure that content is interoperable, and notdevice-specific
    7. 7. National Federation of the BlindResources DAISY consortium: W3C WAI guidelines: Accessible EPUB 3: Tips for Creating Accessible EPUB 3 Files:
    8. 8. National Federation of the BlindContact us National Federation of the Blind Anne Taylor1800 Johnson StreetBaltimore, MD 21230Phone: 410-659-9314 ext.
    9. 9. 9“Anywhere, Anytime Readingfor Readers with Print Disabilities”NISO Webinar April 10, 2013
    10. 10. Ginny GrantProduct Manager, Literacy Program10PresenterBookshare and The DIAGRAM Center are part of Benetech’s Literacy Program
    11. 11. Agenda Benetech’s Literacy Program Initiatives Partnership with IDPF & Project Readium Accessible Books Accessible Anywhere! Key Benefits for Print Disabled Readers Q & A Time11
    12. 12. Benetech’s Literacy Program InitiativesBookshare Service• Accessible online library• Scale, efficiency• Getting books into students’ handsDIAGRAM: R&D• Tools for accessible image creation• Technical standards• Research, training and bestpractice guidelinesReading Tools & Training• Professional development workshops• Cloud-based bookshelf• MP3 download• Web ReaderBornAccessible• Content Tools• Discovery• Services
    13. 13. The “Easy” Stuff:Structure & Textual ElementsReal navigationReal style sheets (separate from content)Real text (not “fixed layout” pictures)Real listsReal tables with logical headersStandards & Practices: EPUB 3 (thank you DAISY 3) Best practices make all the difference
    14. 14. Highlights of Accessible ContentStructureNavigationSectionsTextReflowableStyle/ContentFormattingTables & ListsHeadersOrderingMathMathMLDescriptionImagesLongdescDIAGRAM Content ModelVideoTrack:subtitles, description,etc.Accessible EPUB 3 Guidelines:
    15. 15. 15 Open Source Reading Tool software for EPUB 3 International Digital Publishing Forum (• Producing EPUB 3 samples representing all major features ofthe standard for use by the publishing industry• Developed a free conversion tool to generate EPUB 3 files• Bookshare is the largest implementer for production use Readium (• Major initiative to develop a reference implementation of theIDPF EPUB 3 standards using WebKit Engine• WebKit is an open source rendering engine for HTML andrelated Web Standards• Bookshare took a “branch” of the Readium code and addedaccessibility features• Bookshare is collaborating with Readium.Org and IDPF to addfunctionalityProject Readium
    16. 16. 16Accessible Books, Accessible Anywhere! Titles from search results, download history or bookshelfhave a “Read Now” link in supported Internet Browsers Auto-conversion to EPUB 3 and launch of BookshareWeb Reader
    17. 17. 17 Bookshare Web Reader Provides Anywhere,Anytime Reading of Accessible Books One-click on “Read Now” link from within Bookshare Browser-based reading tool• No special software or hardware needed ($0 Cost)o Based on IDPF’s Readium Project (open source software)• Optimized for use in Google Chromeo Plug-in required for Synchronized Highlighting withText-to-Speech (TTS)• Also available for use in IE9, IE10 and Firefox;User listens to book using standard TTS engine > 187,000 Books available for reading real-timeAccessible Books, Accessible Anywhere!
    18. 18. 18 Settings for different accessibility needs Font sizes up to Color schemes Night mode Scrolling vs. pagination options Full-screen and Margin settings Text-to-Speech Rate Table of Contents Jump to Page70 pt.Benefits for Print-Disabled Readers
    19. 19. 19 Synchronized Highlighting and Text-to-Speech Word- and Sentence-level highlighting (Chrome) Improve outcomes for readers with Dyslexia andother reading disabilitiesBenefits for Print-Disabled Readers
    20. 20. 20 Described Images and Math Equations Where available, images are described for B/VI orusers who are verbal vs. visualBenefits for Print-Disabled Readers
    21. 21. 21 Easy Navigation of Book Contents Table of Contents Chapters, Sections, Sub-Sections and Jump-to-Page Forward and Back movementBenefits for Print-Disabled Readers
    22. 22. 22What can be read on theBookshare Web Reader? Free Reading, Textbooks & Classroom Materials 187,000+ Titles in the Bookshare Library 10,500+ Textbooks• 4,200+ NIMAC K-12 textbooks w/images for learners withTeacher-assigned Bookshelves• College/University textbooks Special Collections for Easy Browsing New York Times Best Sellers Newbery, Caldecott Winners Veterans sub-collections 1,000+ books in Spanish
    23. 23. 23Bookshare Enhancements Bookshare enhanced and put code back intothe Open Source Repository called Github Accessibility Improvements• Worked with a nationally-known organization who performedan accessibility audit on Project Readium and Bookshare• Bookshare enhanced the reading tool in order to support userswith Screen Readers (like JAWS or AMIS) and to allow thenative TTS engine in Chrome to access books• Bookshare expanded the TTS functionality under the codename “Benespeak” and added that library back to the project
    24. 24. 24Bookshare EnhancementsBookshare enhanced and put code back intothe Open Source Repository called Github Digital Rights• Publishers are understandably concerned that the content oftheir books could be easily disseminated across the internet• Bookshare ensures that only active, certified members withPrint Disabilities (as defined in the Chafee Amendment)can access these books• Bookshare’s Bookshelf concept allows access toNIMAC-sourced textbooks for qualified U.S. students• Books are not downloaded, so cannot be copied and usedby non-qualified readers
    25. 25. 2525 Visit Bookshare ( Free Readers for Bookshare Members Learn more about the new Bookshare Features Video on the Bookshare Web Reader Membership Questions and Qualifications Visit Readium ( Visit the International Digital Publishing Forum ( Visit The DIAGRAM Center ( Top Ten Tips for Accessible EPUB 3Thank you! Want to Know More?Ginny GrantProduct Manager, Literacy Programginnyg@bookshare.orgAlso: or
    26. 26. A Publisher PerspectiveTowards Accessibility
    27. 27. About Cengage LearningOur CompanyWith annual revenues of approximately $2 billion, the company has 5,500 employeeswith operations in more than 20 countries around the world.Our Markets• Academic- K12; postsecondary• Professional• Library markets• WorldwideOur Products and Services• Learning resources; textbooks, supplemental materials, digital products• Library reference productsOur Brands• Brooks Cole, Course Technology, Gale, South-Western, Wadsworth27
    28. 28. Accessibility Evolution• Print textbook alternate formats• Accessible digital landscape: new considerations• Cengage Learning responseAccessible Ebook• Environment of change• Challenges and opportunities• Cengage Learning looks forward28
    29. 29. Print Textbook Alternate Formats29
    30. 30. Accessible Digital Landscape: New ConsiderationsTechnology Influences• World Wide Web• PDF enhancements• Web Content Accessibility Guidelines30
    31. 31. Cengage Learning Response• Workflow and production processes•• Shift to digital31
    32. 32. Accessible Ebook•• What makes an ebook accessible• Beyond print disabled; accessibility for everyoneCengage Learning Accessibility32
    33. 33. Environment of Change33Operating SystemsWindows XP, 7, 8VistaApple iOS…any many others…
    34. 34. Environment of Change34BrowsersInternet ExplorerFireFoxSafari…any many others…Operating SystemsWindows XP, 7, 8VistaApple iOS…any many others…
    35. 35. Environment of Change35BrowsersInternet ExplorerFireFoxSafari…any many others…Operating SystemsWindows XP, 7, 8VistaApple iOS…any many others…ATScreen readersMagnifiers…any manyothers…
    36. 36. Environment of Change36BrowsersInternet ExplorerFireFoxSafari…any many others…Operating SystemsWindows XP, 7, 8VistaApple iOS…any many others…ATScreen readersMagnifiers…any manyothers…Mobile Devicessmartphonetablets??
    37. 37. Environment of Change37BrowsersInternet ExplorerFireFoxSafari…any many others…Operating SystemsWindows XP, 7, 8VistaApple iOS…any many others…ATScreen readersMagnifiers…any manyothers…Mobile Devicessmartphonetablets??
    38. 38. Challenges and OpportunitiesContent• STEM content• MultimediaTechnology• New Devices• Old technology• Tools• Standards38
    39. 39. Looking ForwardOne publishers evolutionary approach• Awareness• Design with accessibility in mindCollaboration• Continue to participate• Encourage user feedback• Share experiences39
    40. 40. ‹#›
    41. 41. NISO WebinarUniversal Accessibility:Creating E-Books Anyone Can ReadNISO Webinar • April 10, 2013Questions?All questions will be posted with presenter answers onthe NISO website following the webinar:
    42. 42. Thank you for joining us today.Please take a moment to fill out the brief online survey.We look forward to hearing from you!THANK YOU