Include! – the online conference on Inclusive Publishing took place on November 11, with a number of book and publishing industry experts sharing their experiences on acccessibility issues. The aim of the conference was to introduce the industry to the people who lead the work towards inclusive publishing, and around 130 participants, mostly from the book and publishing industry in the Nordic countries, joined in to learn from those who are already spearheading this journey.
After opening the conference, moderator Johanna Koljonen and MTM’s CEO Magnus Larsson introduced Cristina Mussinelli from the Italian Fondazione LIA. Cristina spoke about how the industry should prepare for the forthcoming requirements of the European Accessibility Act. Her message was “Start now. Ask for help from the experts available and you will notice that the journey is not as complicated as it may seem. ”
The same message was also repeated by Hampus Sethfors, at Swedish Axess Lab, in a conversation with usability expert Molly Watt, with the addition of taking it step by step and not investing in a major change in a single stroke. Sharing from her own experiences as a deafblind, Molly pointed out that needs and challenges look very different from individual to individual and that the solutions presented must provide space for everyone to be able to adapt them to their own conditions and wishes.
“Dare to try, and try again and again,” said Neil Mackin at Amazon Web Services, who talked about how Amazon Web Services works with machine learning and AI to increase accessibility. Development is progressing rapidly and what may not work well enough now may have taken great leaps in just one year.
Daniel Saidi from Bookbeat, and Per Andreas Alnes at the Norwegian Bokbasen, talked about how their respective companies have worked towards accessibility. Richard Orme from the DAISY Consortium took the participants on an inspiring journey among accessibility initiatives around the world, with examples from the USA, Great Britain, Kenya, Brazil and the Netherlands, among others. Additional inspiration came from Luc Audrain at Hachette Livre, who told about the accessibility work that has been going on at the French publishing giant for almost 20 years.
Availability in audio books was also discussed during the day, when Wendy Reid from Rakuten Kobo talked about, among other things, the W3C recommendation.
Hugo Setzer, from the International Publishers’ Association, concluded the conference. Hugo touched on a number of different perspectives, all of which speak in favour of moving towards more accessible formats. With 253 million people with some form of visual impairment worldwide, who have access to only ten percent of the supply, there is definitely a new market to reach. Nevertheless, the expectations of today’s consumers are more important, as they value brands that make ethical decisions and include more.
The organiser of the conference, the network NIPI (Nordic Inclusive Publishing Initiative), is founded by MTM together with corresponding authorities in Denmark, Norway, Iceland and Finland. The next step for the network will be to take the issues further and continue to work for increased knowledge about accessibility in the book and publishing industry to support the transition to accessible book publishing.
Presentations at Include! 2020
|Welcoming words, Johanna Koljonen and Magnus Larsson|
|Cristina Mussinelli: The European Accessibility Act is coming – how to get ready – Video – Slides|
|Luc Audrain: The steps towards accessible ebook production flow, lessons from a big publisher – Video – Slides|
|Neil Mackin: How Amazon is mainstreaming AI and Machine Learning to increase accessibility in applications – Video – Slides|
|Molly Watt: How to navigate in the digital world as a person with print disabilities – Video – Slides|
|Hampus Sethfors: Practical Tips on Including Users – Video|
|Lunch break with short demos: Richard Orme: “EPUB accessibility tools” – Video LIA/Gregorio Pellegrino and Elisa Molinari: “Image descriptions: do’s and don’ts.” – Video|
|Panel discussion: Two Nordic Business cases: Bokbasen and Bookbeat – Video|
|Richard Orme: On global accessibility initiative – Video – Slides|
|Wendy Reid: Accessible audiobooks and W3C audiobook recommendation – Video – Slides|
|Hugo Setzer: From the publishers perspective, what is there to gain in accessibility? – Video – Slides|
|Interview and final reflections with Johanna Koljonen and Magnus Larsson|