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Finally, Certified Accessible Educational Materials from Publishers


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George Kerscher, Charles LaPierre & Rachel Comerford explain how publishers can now claim conformance to WCAG 2.0. “Certified by Benetech” guarantees the conformance claims are true. The process follows the approved EPUB Accessibility Standard.

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Finally, Certified Accessible Educational Materials from Publishers

  1. 1. Charles LaPierre, M.Eng., Technical Lead, Born Accessible and DIAGRAM; Benetech George Kerscher, Ph.D., Chief Innovations Officer, DAISY Consortium; Senior Advisor, Benetech Finally, Certified Accessible Educational Materials from Publishers Rachel Comerford, Director of Content Standards, Macmillan Learning
  2. 2. Born Accessible EPUB That Meets the Baseline for Accessibility George Kerscher
  3. 3. Page 3 Standards at the Core of Accessibility ● World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) – HTML 5, CSS, SVG ● Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) ● WCAG 2.0 ● International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) – – EPUB the digital publishing standard – EPUB Accessibility Conformance and Discovery 1.0 Specification
  4. 4. Page 4 ● For the last three years the W3C has run a Digital Publishing Interest Group ● The merger has placed EPUB under the domain of W3C ● IDPF members will be given reduced fees for two years ● 82% of members supported the combination IDPF and W3C Merger
  5. 5. Page 5 ● Adoption of EPUB 3 has been outstanding in most digital publishing sectors ● EPUB 3.1 is an approved recommendation – ● Included is EPUB Accessibility 1.0 – ● Conformance and Discovery Requirements for EPUB Publications ● First ever spec to enable accessibility certification – This establishes the baseline ● Important: We want to be practical in that publishers should readily be able to produce accessible EPUB from their normal production process EPUB within the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
  6. 6. Page 6 ● Requires accessibility conformance in the EPUB publication ● Builds on WCAG 2.0 with some additional publishing- specific items ● in the USA WCAG 2.0 “AA” is generally recommended ● “conforms To” metadata pointing to “A,” “AA,” or “AAA” Accessibility metadata must be included ● Interestingly: publishers have actively participated in the EPUB Accessibility Spec development and have been updating their production process to support accessibility. Baseline Features
  7. 7. Page 7 ● The Digital Publishing Interest Group in the W3C has produced an ARIA 1.1 module to help add some Digital Publishing semantics to ARIA ● Digital Publishing WAI-ARIA Module 1.0 – ● This is currently under review and has not yet been adopted as a recommendation ● Sample of the proposed new Roles: – doc-abstract – doc-appendix – doc-chapter – doc-introduction W3C DPUB’s ARIA 1.1 Module
  8. 8. Page 8 ● All headings must be marked in the HTML as headings (Critical for navigation) ● All textual content must use HTML text markup, e.g., paragraphs, block quotes, list items ● All content must be in a logical reading order ● Images are marked as decorative, described in surrounding text or captions, or have “alt” text ● If you want a fancy heading and use an image, remember to surround the image with the heading markup and use alt text (remember you can do very cool things these days with CSS) Concrete Examples of Some MUSTS
  9. 9. Page 9 Metadata Requirements to Be Compliant ● EPUBs wishing to be conformant MUST: – include accessibility discovery metadata – include the following [] accessibility metadata • accessMode • accessibilityFeature • accessibilityHazard • accessibilitySummary
  10. 10. Page 10 ● Specifications are at a high level and techniques are concrete ● WCAG and EPUB techniques are maintained independently of specifications ● As support in Reading Systems evolve, the techniques will improve ● ● ● TTS & Braille: The techniques ensures that Text-to- Speech can be used to present the information. Also, this supports text being sent to a refreshable braille display Supporting Techniques Updated Frequently
  11. 11. Page 11 ● Certify that digital books (and all other publications) meet the Baseline ● Self-certification – Sad Story: What happened to Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT)? – Would you have a fox guard the henhouse? – DAISY is building the EPUB Accessibility Conformance Checker – Auto checking must be supplemented by human inspection Accelerating Publisher Adoption: Certification of EPUB Publications
  12. 12. Page 12 ● Excellent accessibility metadata required to be present in the EPUB package ● Accessibility metadata supports • Born accessible • Find accessible • Buy Accessible ● Questions: Any questions on the Standards side? Accelerating Publisher Adoption: Conformance and Certification of EPUB Publications
  13. 13. Benetech Certification Pilot Charles LaPierre
  14. 14. Page 14 Born Accessible: Certified by Benetech ● Benetech is piloting the certification process ● A documented process for certification must be established and followed ● Publisher materials are reviewed and remediated ● Long term process improvements would be recommended to publishers
  15. 15. Page 15 Certification Metadata in EPUB Publications ● How to find certified content in the future: – certifiedBy: Specifies the name of the party that certified the content. The certifier of the content could be the same party that created the EPUB publication, but can also be a third-party accessibility certifier. – certifierCredential: Identifies a credential or badge that establishes the authority of the party identified in the certifiedBy property to certify content is accessible. – certifierReport: Provides a link to an accessibility report created by the party identified in the certifiedBy property. – conformsTo: WCAG-A, -AA, or -AAA
  16. 16. Page 16 Tested Software for Reading EPUB ● Both the EPUB and the Reading System must be accessible. ● A perfectly accessible EPUB with a terrible Reading System does not get you there ● Likewise a great Reading System with an inaccessible EPUB yields zero ● The answer is to test Reading Systems with perfect EPUBs ● It is necessary to test using a wide range of Assistive Technologies ● – Note: VitalSource Bookshelf at 100%
  17. 17. Page 17 Buy Accessible ● Procurement MUST focus on “Buy Accessible” ● “Buy Accessible” - Demand Certified Accessible EPUB 3 ● All content must be certified. Point them to “Certified by Benetech” initiative.
  18. 18. Page 18 Role of DSS Office Supporting Born Accessible ● Guide students toward great reading systems and certified accessible content ● Support students who need more than what is in the baseline
  19. 19. Page 19 Benetech Pilot – EPUB Accessibility Certification ● Currently working with Macmillan Learning, five other publishers, and one conversion vendor ● In depth evaluation of a sample of complex EPUB books from each ● Generate a detailed accessibility report for each title
  20. 20. Page 20 Sample Pilot: Summary Title: Road Runner - Not a Myth Publisher: Acme Inc. Author(s):Wiley Coyote Sr. Package Metadata (Required): FAIL Page and Publication: FAIL Page Navigation: PASS Media Overlays Playback: FAIL Overall 1.0 Compliant: FAIL Born Accessible Score: 25.5% Overall WCAG Compliance Reached: FAIL EPUB Complexity Score: 5 - Very Complex
  21. 21. Page 21 Sample Pilot: Born Accessible Scores Image Accessibility: 39% WCAG FAIL Audio Accessibility: 22% WCAG FAIL Video Accessibility: 0% WCAG FAIL HTML Tags: 29% WCAG FAIL General Accessibility: 29% WCAG FAIL Language: 50% WCAG Level-A Structured Navigation:17% WCAG FAIL Links: 50% WCAG Level-A Lists: 50% WCAG FAIL Tables: 0% WCAG FAIL Notes: 67% WCAG Level-A Java Script: 0% WCAG FAIL Package Metadata (Optional): 0% DPUB ARIA (Future): N/A Born Accessible Total Score 25.5%
  22. 22. Page 22 Accessibility Pilot Results
  23. 23. Page 23 Publishers Perspective ● Rachel Comerford
  24. 24. Page 24 Process is Everything Publisher’s processes are at the heart of the Certification
  25. 25. Page 25 How we Integrated New Standards ● Get involved in working groups – it’s a chance to share your solutions and learn from others ● Standards groups provided specifications but it was up to us to develop implementation guides based on our needs – V1 took 6 months to build – updates are coming out every 2-3 months based on feedback ● Developed a validator based on open source resources and our implementation guide – Update with every implementation guide update ● Established a checklist for non-automated QA and educated team members on what to look for
  26. 26. Page 26 Sharing Responsibility ● Art – Develop all art to have proper contrast, readable text ● Design – Ensure read order is clearly indicated ● Authors – Provide guidance about pedagogical intention for digital conversion ● Editors – Communicate with authors about focus and development ● Compositor – Apply publisher standards, give feedback on gaps ● Quality Assurance – Automated and manual checking of everything developed
  27. 27. Page 27 Addressing Complexity ● Text with markup ● Complex image layouts ● Marginal elements – Texts contain a large quantity of pedagogical material in the margin ● MathML – Reader compatibility is not standard – Expensive and difficult to write alt text ● ChemML – Reader compatibility is rare – Expensive and difficult to write alt text ● Graphic Novel – All image text
  28. 28. Page 28 Why Are We Doing This? ● ‘Certified by Benetech’ advantages – 3rd party confirmation of accessibility standards – Assurance for students and adopters – Easy to roll up to administrators – Gives us feedback to pass on to vendors about the quality of their work – Provides internal confidence about the quality of what we’re delivering – Helps identify for schools what errors are addressed and what warnings are relevant – Most importantly: Shows us what we’re missing and what we have left to learn
  29. 29. Page 29 EPUB Accessibility 1.0 (Specification) EPUB Accessibility Techniques 1.0 (Supplemental) WCAG 2.0 (Specification) BISG: Quick Start Guide to Accessible Publishing DIAGRAM Center: Image Description Guidelines Poet Image Description Training Module Helpful Resources for Publishers
  30. 30. Page 30 THANK YOU Questions? George Kerscher Charles LaPierre Rachel Comerford