Accessibility and Ebooks


Ebooks should be able to be enjoyed by people from all walks of life, including those who may have a disability such as being blind. Accessibility guidelines used for website design can be applied to make ebooks more friendly for blind people, who use audible screen reading software. Enhanced ebooks, with audio, are also useful to those who cannot read text.

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are part of a series of web accessibility guidelines published by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the main international standards organization for the Internet. More details

W3C is a forum for approving or confirming open specifications for any content related to archiving or online (i.e. anything that includes tags such as <div> ). EBSCO is one of the vendors we work with that is concerned with make ebooks available for people with a disability, not just the able-bodied.

To achieve accessibility for people with different abilities, the ebook requires information about the human reading order (tagging order) and should define ‘textual and ‘nontextual’ content. Our ebook technicians will have to specify the order of the content (so that an auditory screen reader can read the ebook out to the blind, for example, in proper order). They will also have to describe the non-textual contents (picture, images, graphs, etc.) in words (as part of the ‘Alt’ tag). Screen readers enunciate that verbally as well.

If you would like your ebook to be made friendly for people with a disability, we can offer the extra services required. Please approach us with a Word document that lists and pictures all of the images in your document along with the appropriate alt tag. Alternatively, if your ebook already features images with captions, you can simply tell us to use the captions as the alt text on each image.

We invite you to contact us for more details.


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