2024-25 APACE – Accelerating Publishing Accessibility through Collaboration in Europe
APACE is a medium-scale cooperation project co-funded in the framework of the Creative Europe programme for a duration of 24 months (January 2024 – December 2025).
The partners of APACE are Fondazione LIA (project coordinator), the Italian Publishers Association (AIE), Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels e.V. (BOEV), Sdruzhenie Asostsiatsia Blagarska Kniga – Bulgarian Book Association (ABK), Stichting Dedicon, Accessibility Library Celia, Lietuvos audiosensorine biblioteka – Lithuanian Audiosensory Library (formerly Lietuvos akluju biblioteka (LAB)).
What is APACE
APACE (Accelerating Publishing Accessibility through Collaboration in Europe) is a network set to enhance social inclusion for over 100 million print impaired in Europe (blind, visual impaired, dyslexic persons), creating a bidirectional dialogue between two target communities: publishers and specialist organisations producing accessible publications in alternative formats.
Main objectives and activities
APACE aims to enhance the capacity of the European publishing industry in the accessibility field, filling the current gap of competences and creating a new generation of professional experts. The project fosters new forms of collaboration by leveraging digital opportunities and implementing a wide range of initiatives including:
- capacity building through training courses and an Accessibility Summer School;
- networking opportunities such as Meet-Ups and “Ask the Experts” sessions;
- awareness events in various formats to promote accessibility best practices;
- pilot projects experimenting new methods for producing and distributing accessible ebooks.
All the activities are in line with the European Accessibility Act (EU Directive 2019/882 on the accessibility requirements for products and services) and based on the adoption of existing open, interoperable, international standards.
The results (i.e. guidelines, best practices, whitepapers) will be made available through the European Accessibility Directory.
The APACE network builds on the work already done by each partner in the field and on the need to outline a new innovative and efficient process of collaboration among all parties. Starting from the experiences already in place, APACE provides a platform to enhance the capacity of the parts involved and put the basis for further developments and collaborations.
The involvement of publishers and persons with print impairment since the early design phase in the different activities is an innovative practice and will allow to share, experiment and co-design solutions taking into consideration the needs of content producers and readers at the same time.