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EDRLab. A new Accessibility Interest Group

What's new

EDRLab has created the Accessibility Interest Group, a new working group that will be chaired by Cristina Mussinelli, Secretary General of Fondazione LIA.

Fondazione LIA is an active member of the most important international working groups and it also takes part in the activities promoted by EDRLab (European Digital Reading Laboratory), a non-profit organization whose purpose is to stimulate the creation of an accessible digital ecosystem in Europe. EDRLab develops technologies to accelerate the adoption by the digital publishing industry of the EPUB format and the Open Web Platform. Cristina Mussinelli’s new assignment as chair of the new EDRLab’s working group proves the international commitment of Fondazione LIA and its willingness to join the discussion on the development of standards and innovative solutions in the field of accessibility.

The context

The attention to accessibility is increasing in the world of the publishing industry. Assistive technologies offer new possibilities of access to digital contents for people with different disabilities. The born accessible principle and the creation of a progressively more accessible supply chain represent a new model towards a more inclusive publishing. The recently approved European Accessibility Act (EAA) moves in this direction: introducing accessibility throughout the digital publishing chain, from content production to reading experience, by 2025. There are already several working groups dealing with the implementation of the EAA in Europe and the creation of EDRLab’s Accessibility Interest Group will bring new possibilities for discussion.

The Accessibility Interest Group’s topics

Reading solutions, accessibility metadata and DMR will be the main interests of the new working group:

  • Reading solutions are an essential element inside an accessible ecosystem as they are the tool through which digital contents can be opened. Therefore, they should provide the accessibility features correctly and adapt to readers’ needs, including readers with a disability.
  • Metadata are another essential element that can’t be ignored inside the supply chian, as they provide readers with important information about the accessibility features of the digital document available for online loan or in bookstores.
  • DMR will be also considered, with the aim of promoting the Readium LCP DRM, a version of DMR accessible for people with disabilities.

Finally, in response to the introduction of the European Accessibility Act, it is important that EDRLab provides its own guidelines concerning the harmonisation of the European reading solutions’ standards for online libraries and bookstores.