Research and development
Fondazione LIA cooperates with Börsenverein and dzb lesen
The E-books for all: towards an accessible publishing ecosystem white paper, created by Fondazione LIA (Libri Italiani Accessibili) will be translated to German and distributed in Germany. The initiative stems from an agreement signed between Fondazione LIA – a non-profit organization created by AIE (Associazione Italiana Editori) in collaboration with UICI (Italian Blind and Visually Impaired Union) – the German Publishers and Booksellers Association (Börsenverein) and the German Center for Accessible Reading (dzb lesen), an important centre for the promotion of reading for people with disabilities. The collaboration is part of a broader project carried out by Börsenverein to raise awareness in the German publishing and book sector on the relevance of accessibility: in fact, in 2025, the European Accessibility Act will come into force and will require that the entire digital publishing chain becomes accessible.
The paper is the result of the international experience of Fondazione LIA, which has matured over the years being active part of the working and study groups focused on developing standards for the production of accessible digital publications, testing reading solutions and creating metadata for accessibility and in developing, in collaboration with 76 italian publishing imprints, the LIA catalogue that now includes more than 26,000 accessible e-books.
“The collaboration with Börsenverein and dzb lesen is a sign of the growing attention to the theme of accessibility at European level. To make a real impact, collaboration and synergies with other key players are essential” declared Mario Barbuto, President of Fondazione LIA.
Alexander Skipis, Managing Director of Börsenverein, says: “Making our products accessible – especially for people who currently have limited access possibilities – is a task which the German book industry will take on with enthusiasm and commitment. We see it as our duty to bring content to the people. It enables us to make our content even more user-friendly and thus ultimately reach more readers. We are delighted to be embarking on this journey together with such experienced partners as the Fondazione LIA and dzb lesen. The cooperation will form the basis for taking meaningful and sustainable steps over the next 5 years, and European exchange is particularly valuable in this transition.”
And Prof. Dr. Thomas Kahlisch, Director of the German Centre for Accessible Reading (dzb lesen), commented: “We are very glad to use the experiences from LIA to create a collaboration between publishers and dzb lesen to make e-books accessible for blind, visually impaired and print disabled persons in Germany”.
E-books for all, first published in English in November 2020, provides useful information to all companies interested in being part of an accessible digital publishing ecosystem and in line with the requirements of the new Directive and examines the roles and responsibilities of producers of content, aggragators, online stores and developers of reading solutions.
Ricardo Franco Levi, President of AIE: “The experience of Fondazione LIA in Italy can be a very good example for other countries who want to start working with accessibility. Thanks to the German translation, German speaking publishers and players in the book supply chain will be able to have an in-depth overview of the new international and European regulations and of the impact they will have on the publishing sector”.