Where to Start with eBook Accessibility

Using an eBook Reader at the Beach

 

Why is eBook Accessibility Important? 

From a business standpoint, eBook accessibility is a pretty easy concept to follow.  More people who are able to read your eBook means a larger audience.  And a larger audience, in theory, means more sales. 

But eBook Accessibility is not just a box you can check or leave unchecked.  Ensuring that your eBook is accessible—and that these functions are done well—is a process that will take some effort, time, and possibly even money.  So that theoretical larger audience might come at a premium. 

Not everyone is doing eBook accessibility.  And not everyone that is doing eBook accessibility is doing it well.   That means that eBooks that are doing accessibility well set themselves apart.  They stand out.  And publishers that employ these practices enjoy added brand loyalty from customers that utilize them.  Your eBook could even appear on a service that showcases accessible eBooks, like Bookshare, giving you access to a whole new audience. 

Where Do You Start? 

Automated tools, like ACE by Daisy, are a good way for you or a developer working on your eBook to start.  But these tools only scratch the surface.  In order to create an intuitive experience for all users, there’s no substitute for a human analysis completed by a person who specializes in eBook Accessibility. 

An accessibility expert can ensure that your eBook meets the specifications of WCAG 2.0AA.  They can ensure that your eBook uses proper ARIA Markup and works intuitively across a range of assistive devices. When your eBook goes live, all of your readers will enjoy a smooth experience. 

Properly addressing your eBook’s accessibility considerations will benefit you in a lot of ways.  Your eBook’s code will be cleaner and easier to work on.   And you’ll avoid legal trouble.  As the legal landscape surrounding content accessibility moves forward, standards will be decided upon.  Putting in the effort now can prevent you from having to play catch up in the future.  

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