A11yPub’s aim is to raise awareness and understanding about the benefits, requirements, strategies and solutions surrounding inclusive digital publishing (ePUB, iBooks, audiobooks and book apps).
To ensure that anyone can engage, interact and respond to digital books on the same basis requires a cultural shift. It involves content creators, authoring and publishing inclusive content that is designed to an inclusive standard as well as purchasers (individuals and institutions alike) only purchasing content that meets those inclusive digital standards. This symposium is part of a larger strategy to promote that shift. A11yPub is hosted by Alchin Consulting and the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) Renwick Centre.
Disability from a health perspective
Australian Bureau Of Statistics data highlights that almost 1 in 5 Australians reported living with a permanent disability (18.3% or 4.3 million people). The prevalence of disability increases with age, with 1 in 3 people having a permanent disability by age 55 and by our early 80s rising to 1 in 1. However, these figures do not take into consideration the high rate of temporary disabilities due to injury and illness nor situational disabilities. This means that the prevalence of people with a disability within the community is much larger than most people realise. As such, the number of people precluded from engaging with and enjoying digital books is far too large to ignore.
Disability by design
Disability is not just a health problem. It is a complex phenomenon, reflecting the interaction between features of a person’s body and features of the society in which he or she lives.”–World Health Organization
We create and share content to change how our audience feels, thinks, and acts. So, when you create content, you want it to be engaging and useful for all your audience not just some of your audience. Beyond deciding what to say, the real decision is deciding how you will communicate it so that anyone can understand, interact with and respond to it. Poor choices and about how we design digital books can create unintentional and unnecessary barriers.
Your design decisions will determine how usable and accessible your content is to your audience.