Cristina Musinelli (Fondazione LIA) coordinated a conversation in Readmagine between two great experts in the management of solutions to provide accessibility to books: Hadrien Gardeur (Demarque) and Paolo Casarini (Ed. Il Mulino).
Gardeur offered a first introduction aimed to analyse the situation of the accessibility of books in a given market and to do so he used the example of Spain. To understand the meaning of accessibility, it is necessary to clearly define the areas to which its requirements refer:
- Marketplace for libraries
- Platform for user interaction with libraries
- Platform for student interaction with schools
- Reading applications
Demarque has learned during its implementation in markets such as Spain to identify the main accessibility challenges, which cause there to be very little data in the ONIX format:Mismatch between EPUB and ONIX with missing terms
It’s very difficult for publishers to understand and document these metadata for distribution
Those two factors result in very little data circulating in ONIX
Hadrien Gardeur presented a joint analysis on the proportion of EPUB and ONIX with metadata for the accessibility of 166 thousand ebooks in EPUB format and the results are strikingly low (3.4% of EPUBs and 0.04% of ONIX ).
In this video you can follow the entire presentation, which covered many other aspects of accessibility.
For his part, Paolo Casarini presented the experience of an educational publishing house like Il Mulino on its path towards accessibility. In his speech, he pointed out that his educational platform was not designed so that blind people could access it.
Casarini recognized that on this route they have had to use many resources and make an effort, as well as have the important support of the Fondazione LIA to build three accessible platforms.
To reach this situation, Il Mulino has had to work on several fronts in the production chain:The awareness and education for sales and editorial managers (management level)
Teaching and training for traditional and digital editors (production level)
Testing and teaching for the digital staff (UI level)
Training and development for software developers (core level)
Paolo Casarini pointed out that he could extract three great lessons learned on this path:First, accessibility doesn’t only pose a technical challenge. Everybody on the editorial production chain needs to know what their responsibilities are, and what they have to foresee and avoid.
Second, standards are a key consideration in accessibility, and following standards with the right techniques is like superpowers for developers, if you do the right thing for accessibility, you are building better software for everyone.
Third, the importance of gaining experience as to how a print impaired person manages digital materials, what kind of tools they use and what challenges they face in accessing digital content.
Accessibility is not a challenge that falls exclusively to the technical department, but rather that all teams must be involved.
Standards play a key role and if progress is made in terms of accessibility, what is also achieved is the generation of better software for everyone.
It is essential to learn what the specific needs of blind people are.
In this video you can follow Cristina Mussinelli’s dialogue with Hadrien Gardeur and Paolo Casarini.
Cristina Mussinelli is General Secretary of Fodazione Lia, Board Member at EDRLab and Member of the Board of Directors at IDPF.
Gardeur is in charge of all key products at De Marque, such as Hub: a distribution service for publishers; Station/Biblius: content portals for libraries and schools ; Reader (Aldiko): mobile and Web apps for ebooks/audiobooks/comics; Market (Feedbooks) and Boutique through which we operate both B2C and B2B sales channels. Gardeur is also founder and board member of EDRLab (elected twice for a board seat).
Paolo Casarini is C.T.O/IT director at Il Mulino publishing house, responsible for the development of Il Mulino digital delivery multi-publishers platforms (Rivisteweb, Darwinbooks and Pandoracampus).