In March of 2019 the government of Canada announced a five-year, $22.8 million initiative which will support the sustainable production and distribution of accessible digital books.The importance of accessibility in digital publishing is becoming increasingly recognized by publishers in Canada, and in order to identify and clarify a path to accessible publishing, NNELS (National Network for Equitable Library Service), eBOUND, and l’Association national des éditeurs de livres (ANEL) undertook this experimental project.
In partnership with eBOUND and ANEL, NNELS undertook the Experimentation Project for Accessible Publishing, to work with independent Canadian English and French publishers and help them enhance accessibility of their ebooks. Over the course of this project, NNELS worked closely with 11 independent Canadian publishers (six produce English language books and are members of eBOUND, and 5 produce French language books, and are members of ANEL) in order to learn about publisher workflows and the stages a book goes through, from submission to publication.
This report reviews what was learned about publisher workflows, and provides detailed recommendations on how publishers can improve the accessibility of their ebooks by making adjustments to their workflows. A key finding of this project is the knowledge that changes can be made by all of the key players in the workflow, from the author, to the copy-editor, to the designer, to the conversion house/ebook producer.