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Aspire – why it matters, what it means
Accessibility statements providing improved reader experiences
1
If accessibility statements were car adverts…
2
Images from https://jalopnik.com/this-old-deck-of-gm-
engine-and-transmiss...
But worse than that is this…
3
Sample good practices?
4
Palgrave
Elsevier
Kortext
Why and for who?
5
Student
• Can I read this comfortably?
• Can I read it at all?
• How much time will I waste
finding out...
Why and for who?
6
Student
• Can I read this comfortably?
• Can I read it at all?
• How much time will I waste
finding out...
Background to the Aspire project - 1
The big questions
» Question 1:
› What information does a disabled student need to us...
Background to the Aspire project - 1
The big questions
» Question 1:
› What information does a disabled student need to us...
Background to the Aspire project - 1
The big questions
» Question 1:
› What information does a disabled student need to us...
Background to the Aspire project - 1
The big questions
» Question 1:
› What information does a disabled student need to us...
Background to the Aspire project - 2
»Participants: 146 staff from 49 higher education
institutions took part.
11
Libraria...
Background to the Aspire project - 3
Cultural context
1. We all want the same thing: more students reading
more books more...
Background to the Aspire project - 4
Methodology and mode of working
› Launch meeting January 2018, sponsored by Publisher...
Recognising the complexity
14
Files and formats
Navigation (chapters,
headings)
Reflow/magnify.
Colour change.
Text to spe...
Recognising the complexity
15
Files and formats
Navigation (chapters,
headings)
Reflow/magnify.
Colour change.
Text to spe...
Recognising the complexity
16
Files and formats
Navigation (chapters,
headings)
Reflow/magnify.
Colour change.
Text to spe...
Recognising the complexity
17
Files and formats
Navigation (chapters,
headings)
Reflow/magnify.
Colour change.
Text to spe...
Recognising the complexity
18
Files and formats
Navigation (chapters,
headings)
Reflow/magnify.
Colour change.
Text to spe...
Headline results – publishers
19
• 87 publishers audited.
• The median score was 3.3 / 35
• Considerable range for some
su...
Headline results – platforms/aggregators
20
• 54 suppliers audited.
• The median score was 5.5 /34
• Considerable range fo...
Relevance for students – Publisher results
21
How easy is it to find some
accessibility information?
58 % of publishers ha...
Relevance for students – Publisher results
22
Poor
87%
Moderate
11%
Good
2%
Navigation
Poor Moderate Good
File ‘heading st...
Relevance for students – Publisher results
23
Magnification and reflow
influence the ease with which
people using small sc...
Relevance for students – Publisher results
24
Image descriptions (eg AltText,
Long Descriptions, Captions)
influence the a...
Conclusion – publishers & disabled readers
»2% of publishers had good information on image
description and navigability fe...
Relevance for students – Platform results
26
Discoverability of accessibility
information = moderate to
good in 76% of pla...
Relevance for students – Platform results
27
Navigation information of
some sort was available in
50%+ of suppliers audite...
Relevance for students – Platform results
28
Although image descriptions
are supplied by publishers we
wanted to know if t...
Relevance for students – Platform results
29
Visual appearance
Scored from 0 – 2. If average is
<0.5 = poor | 0.5 – 1.5 = ...
Relevance for students – Platform results
30
Audio options
Scored from 0 – 2. If average is
<0.5 = poor | 0.5 – 1.5 = mode...
Conclusion – platforms & disabled readers
»Scores were generally higher BUT the task is potentially
less challenging :
› O...
Library stories – Formats & recommendations
32
69%
29%
2%
Publisher information on format availability
No information on f...
Library stories – DRM options & anticipation
33
Poor
87%
Moderate
11%
Good
2%
Publisher DRM info
Poor Moderate Good
Poor
7...
Library stories – accessibility services
34
4%
6%
13%
17%
60%
Publisher engagement with accessibility services
Deeply enga...
What happens next – your role?
» Look at your supplier scores on the Dashboard tabs on the
downloadable spreadsheet. How v...
What happens next – our role?
» Providing Jisc training session for suppliers on making the most of the Aspire
results.
» ...
The evidence base
» Platform / aggregators: 243 audits were conducted on 54 different platforms, an
average of 4.5 audits ...
Particular thanks
» Publishers Association and Springer Nature in getting us started.
» London bookfair and Publishers Lic...
Further links and actions
»Aspire website – http://tiny.cc/aspire2018
»Jisc online training for publishers
https://www.jis...
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UKSG webinar: Accessibility aspirations - the outcomes of the Aspire audit of e-book accessibility statements and their implications for libraries with Alistair McNaught, Jisc

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In July/August 2018, 57 organisations took part in a crowd sourced audit of publishers and platform providers. 141 people audited the websites of 58 publishers and 88 platform providers, providing 551 individual audits. The aim was to audit the accessibility information provided for their e-books/platforms and assess their content and practical usefulness for disabled students and those who support them. This webinar will present some of the key findings of the audit and explore both the implications and the opportunities for libraries.

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UKSG webinar: Accessibility aspirations - the outcomes of the Aspire audit of e-book accessibility statements and their implications for libraries with Alistair McNaught, Jisc

  1. 1. Aspire – why it matters, what it means Accessibility statements providing improved reader experiences 1
  2. 2. If accessibility statements were car adverts… 2 Images from https://jalopnik.com/this-old-deck-of-gm- engine-and-transmission-trading-car-1827657205
  3. 3. But worse than that is this… 3
  4. 4. Sample good practices? 4 Palgrave Elsevier Kortext
  5. 5. Why and for who? 5 Student • Can I read this comfortably? • Can I read it at all? • How much time will I waste finding out? • Are there useful features I didn’t even think about? • Do I need to ask for an alternative format?
  6. 6. Why and for who? 6 Student • Can I read this comfortably? • Can I read it at all? • How much time will I waste finding out? • Are there useful features I didn’t even think about? Support staff • Can I advise the student? • Can I give academics reading list guidance? • Do we need to get (or make?) alternative formats? • Will our digital investments cost more than we realised? • … or will they save us money by making learners more self reliant?
  7. 7. Background to the Aspire project - 1 The big questions » Question 1: › What information does a disabled student need to use ebooks confidently and effectively? 7
  8. 8. Background to the Aspire project - 1 The big questions » Question 1: › What information does a disabled student need to use ebooks confidently and effectively? » Question 2: › Is it realistic for suppliers to provide the information? 8
  9. 9. Background to the Aspire project - 1 The big questions » Question 1: › What information does a disabled student need to use ebooks confidently and effectively? » Question 2: › Is it realistic for suppliers to provide the information? » Question 3: › How easy is it to find when you look for it? 9
  10. 10. Background to the Aspire project - 1 The big questions » Question 1: › What information does a disabled student need to use ebooks confidently and effectively? » Question 2: › Is it realistic for suppliers to provide the information? » Question 3: › How easy is it to find when you look for it? » Question 4: › How good is it? 10
  11. 11. Background to the Aspire project - 2 »Participants: 146 staff from 49 higher education institutions took part. 11 Librarian 74% Disability librarian 11% Disability support 11% Aggregator 2% Other 2% Auditors by role Librarian Disability librarian Disability support Aggregator Other
  12. 12. Background to the Aspire project - 3 Cultural context 1. We all want the same thing: more students reading more books more effectively. 2. Collaboration is better than conflict: universities and colleges have expertise in the issues for disabled students. Suppliers have expertise in the ‘art of the possible’. 3. We are all learning: being open to learn improves the quality of what we do – whatever our role. 12
  13. 13. Background to the Aspire project - 4 Methodology and mode of working › Launch meeting January 2018, sponsored by Publishers Association, hosted by Springer Nature. Publishers, aggregators, library and disability specialists. › Open mailing list and steering group with fortnightly - monthly meetings. › Discussions, decisions etc distributed via email list and editable Google docs. › Agreed survey questions pre-launched to suppliers at London BookFair accessibility seminar, 3 months ahead of audit. › Data collection trialled with open pilot at Kings College London to which librarians & suppliers invited. Online ‘worked walkthrough’ delivered via Jisc. › Audits organised to provide multiple sampling. › Data analysis and reporting opportunities offered to all participants. 13
  14. 14. Recognising the complexity 14 Files and formats Navigation (chapters, headings) Reflow/magnify. Colour change. Text to speech. Reading order. Screenreader. Image description. PDF HTML EPUB
  15. 15. Recognising the complexity 15 Files and formats Navigation (chapters, headings) Reflow/magnify. Colour change. Text to speech. Reading order. Screenreader. Image description. PDF HTML EPUB Interfaces Publisher’s online eg Elsevier Science Direct or Cambridge Online. Aggregator’s online eg Kortext, VitalSource. Reading software Adobe Digital Editions Adobe Reader BlueFire Reader Web browser Type Plugins
  16. 16. Recognising the complexity 16 Files and formats Navigation (chapters, headings) Reflow/magnify. Colour change. Text to speech. Reading order. Screenreader. Image description. PDF HTML EPUB Interfaces Publisher’s online eg Elsevier Science Direct or Cambridge Online. Aggregator’s online eg Kortext, VitalSource. Reading software Adobe Digital Editions Adobe Reader BlueFire Reader Web browser Type Plugins Institutional IT Guidance Software available Software version Browser available Plugins installed Browser lockdown
  17. 17. Recognising the complexity 17 Files and formats Navigation (chapters, headings) Reflow/magnify. Colour change. Text to speech. Reading order. Screenreader. Image description. PDF HTML EPUB Reader skill How do I use this? Which do I choose? What is possible? Interfaces Publisher’s online eg Elsevier Science Direct or Cambridge Online. Aggregator’s online eg Kortext, VitalSource. Reading software Adobe Digital Editions Adobe Reader BlueFire Reader Web browser Type Plugins Institutional IT Guidance Software available Software version Browser available Plugins installed Browser lockdown
  18. 18. Recognising the complexity 18 Files and formats Navigation (chapters, headings) Reflow/magnify. Colour change. Text to speech. Reading order. Screenreader. Image description. PDF HTML EPUB Reader skill How do I use this? Which do I choose? What is possible? Interface/platform Publisher’s online eg Elsevier Science Direct or Cambridge Online. Aggregator’s online eg Kortext, VitalSource. Reading software Adobe Digital Editions Adobe Reader BlueFire Reader Web browser Type Plugins Institutional IT Guidance Software available Software version Browser available Plugins installed Browser lockdown Platform/aggregator questionnaire Publisher questionnaire
  19. 19. Headline results – publishers 19 • 87 publishers audited. • The median score was 3.3 / 35 • Considerable range for some suppliers. • Not all criteria scored are necessarily of equal weight - some informative statements may have lost marks for ‘minor’ omissions.
  20. 20. Headline results – platforms/aggregators 20 • 54 suppliers audited. • The median score was 5.5 /34 • Considerable range for some suppliers. • Not all criteria scored are necessarily of equal weight - some informative statements may have lost marks for ‘minor’ omissions.
  21. 21. Relevance for students – Publisher results 21 How easy is it to find some accessibility information? 58 % of publishers had moderate to good accessibility information. But can you find the useful bits a disabled reader needs to know? Scored from 0 – 2. If average is <0.5 = poor | 0.5 – 1.5 = moderate | >1.5 = good Poor 42% Moderate 39% Good 19% Discoverability Poor Moderate Good
  22. 22. Relevance for students – Publisher results 22 Poor 87% Moderate 11% Good 2% Navigation Poor Moderate Good File ‘heading structure’ influences the ease of navigability by assistive technologies. This is a plot of average scores per publisher. Scored from 0 – 2. If average is <0.5 = poor | 0.5 – 1.5 = moderate | >1.5 = good
  23. 23. Relevance for students – Publisher results 23 Magnification and reflow influence the ease with which people using small screens (or those with visual impairment) can read text onscreen. This is a plot of average scores per publisher. Scored from 0 – 2. If average is <0.5 = poor | 0.5 – 1.5 = moderate | >1.5 = good Poor 86% Moderate 10% Good 4% Mag/reflow Poor Moderate Good
  24. 24. Relevance for students – Publisher results 24 Image descriptions (eg AltText, Long Descriptions, Captions) influence the accessibility of images for people with poor vision or those who struggle to process images and graphics. This is a plot of average scores per publisher. Scored from 0 – 2. If average is <0.5 = poor | 0.5 – 1.5 = moderate | >1.5 = good Poor 83% Moderate 15% Good 2% Image Info Poor Moderate Good
  25. 25. Conclusion – publishers & disabled readers »2% of publishers had good information on image description and navigability features. »3% provided good information on magnification and reflow. »Many produce files where these accessibility features are provided, but information is difficult/impossible to find. »This puts a burden of trial and error on …. who? 25
  26. 26. Relevance for students – Platform results 26 Discoverability of accessibility information = moderate to good in 76% of platforms. We only audited the ‘read online’ option. Fewer variables compared to publishers with multiple formats, legacy content etc. Scored from 0 – 2. If average is <0.5 = poor | 0.5 – 1.5 = moderate | >1.5 = good Poor 24% Moderate 47% Good 29% Discoverable? Poor Moderate Good
  27. 27. Relevance for students – Platform results 27 Navigation information of some sort was available in 50%+ of suppliers audited. Scored from 0 – 2. If average is <0.5 = poor | 0.5 – 1.5 = moderate | >1.5 = good Poor 50% Moderate 34% Good 16% Navigation Poor Moderate Good
  28. 28. Relevance for students – Platform results 28 Although image descriptions are supplied by publishers we wanted to know if they were ‘relayed’ onto the online reading platform. Scored from 0 – 2. If average is <0.5 = poor | 0.5 – 1.5 = moderate | >1.5 = good Poor 67% Moderate 29% Good 4% Image descriptions Poor Moderate Good
  29. 29. Relevance for students – Platform results 29 Visual appearance Scored from 0 – 2. If average is <0.5 = poor | 0.5 – 1.5 = moderate | >1.5 = good Poor 52%Moderate 34% Good 14% Magnify/reflow Poor Moderate Good Poor 57% Moderate 28% Good 15% Colour/ contrast Poor Moderate Good
  30. 30. Relevance for students – Platform results 30 Audio options Scored from 0 – 2. If average is <0.5 = poor | 0.5 – 1.5 = moderate | >1.5 = good Poor 43% Moderate 33% Good 24% Screenreader Poor Moderate Good Poor 60% Moderate 26% Good 14% Text to speech Poor Moderate Good
  31. 31. Conclusion – platforms & disabled readers »Scores were generally higher BUT the task is potentially less challenging : › One product (the interface) › Total control on interface design with fewer legacy issues »Too many case of absent information. »Many missed opportunities (eg browser plugin advice) »This puts a burden of trial and error on …. who? 31
  32. 32. Library stories – Formats & recommendations 32 69% 29% 2% Publisher information on format availability No information on formats supplied Available formats listed; no accessibility recommendations Available formats listed with accessibility recommendations 70% 26% 4% Average platform & aggregator advice on reading options No information on this Some guidance available Detailed guidance available Different formats have different accessibility ‘profiles’. These may vary with the reading tool. You need advice to pass on to users. Analysis byJessicaWykes, CityUniversity of London
  33. 33. Library stories – DRM options & anticipation 33 Poor 87% Moderate 11% Good 2% Publisher DRM info Poor Moderate Good Poor 71% Moderate 29% Good 0% Platform/Aggregator DRM info Poor Moderate Good Digital Rights Management software protects IPR. It can creates barriers for disabled users. Knowing the DRM status of a collection allows you to anticipate problems. Analysis byJessicaWykes, CityUniversity of London
  34. 34. Library stories – accessibility services 34 4% 6% 13% 17% 60% Publisher engagement with accessibility services Deeply engaged with RNIB Bookshare (eg large number of titles or automated supply service) Some engagement with RNIB Bookshare evidenced Currently in negotiation with RNIB Bookshare Content available via other services eg Access Text (US) or US Bookshare service. No mention of any services Many publishers work directly with other accessibility organisations. If you have the information you can • prioritise student requests and • let some students self-serve their accessibility needs. Analysis byJessicaWykes, CityUniversity of London
  35. 35. What happens next – your role? » Look at your supplier scores on the Dashboard tabs on the downloadable spreadsheet. How vulnerable are you when it comes to advising disabled students? » Ask your supplier contacts to check their own scores and let you know if they need advice on improving. » Tell your supplier contacts about Jisc’s online training for suppliers on improving ebook accessibility statements. » Many suppliers undersell their accessibility. Make the most of what works – liaise with colleagues in disability services and study support to identify how to improve student skills and expectations in exploiting ebook accessibility. 35
  36. 36. What happens next – our role? » Providing Jisc training session for suppliers on making the most of the Aspire results. » Recognising best current performers and (in the NewYear) most improved. » Series of interpretative articles ready to drip feed onto the Aspire website to keep the momentum going. » We will be reporting back to the Publishers Association, Publishers Licensing Society and CLA through meetings, events or news articles. » Contributing to conferences and journal articles. » The data is openly available for others to use for research or benchmarking. 36
  37. 37. The evidence base » Platform / aggregators: 243 audits were conducted on 54 different platforms, an average of 4.5 audits per platform. » Publishers: 342 audits were conducted on 87 publishers, an average of 3.9 audits per publisher. » Institutions and individuals: – 49 Higher education (HE) institutions took part, 2 aggregators (Kortext and ProQuest), plus one other who didn’t provide an institutional email. » The seven most prolific HE university libraries were as follows (number of audits in brackets): › City, University of London (92), Leeds Beckett (50), Open University (48), Swansea (43) Sheffield Hallum University (31), Leeds and Huddersfield – (27 each). 37
  38. 38. Particular thanks » Publishers Association and Springer Nature in getting us started. » London bookfair and Publishers Licensing Society for support with making the project public. » Everyone contributing to the steering group, especially suppliers. » Kings College London and the University of Liverpool for pilots. » Huw Alexander (Sage / textBOX) for advice and an amazing database of accessibility urls. » Data divas and story tellers (Susan Smith, Jamie Phillips, BenWatson, David Clover, JessicaWykes, Huw Alexander, Gopal Dutta, Annette Moore) » Kat Bradley, Dita Krauzer and James Atkinson who covered 101 audits. » Jisc for facilitation support and the Jiscmail service. 38
  39. 39. Further links and actions »Aspire website – http://tiny.cc/aspire2018 »Jisc online training for publishers https://www.jisc.ac.uk/training/e-book-accessibility »Jisc Accessibility support for HE and FE »Finding publisher accessibility information - https://www.textboxdigital.com/searchboxhome 39

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