A benchmarking study to canvas the production of accessible content in Australian publishing is underway, thanks to the University of Sydney. All publishing staff involved in the production of books are invited to participate in this initiative.
The study aims to understand how and what accessible content is currently being produced and what the barriers are to making books available in formats that work for the print-disabled. The project is supported by the Australian Publishers Association through the Australian Inclusive Publishing Initiative and will build on the AIPI Guides developed in 2019 for publishers and the disability sector.
Concurrent to the survey for publishing staff will be a survey to gather information from those who translate books from traditional formats to Braille, Daisy and other accessible formats.
The surveys are open until 31 July and results are expected in October 2020. The findings will be used to develop resources that map the path to born-accessible content that will support publishers wherever they are in the accessibility journey and identify, as an interim solution, what could be improved in the current print conversion process.
Your participation in the collection of this empirical data is highly valuable. Please share information about these surveys with appropriate colleagues.
To learn more about the project from coordinator Dr Agata Mrva-Montoya, please read on.
Call to participate in a research project ‘Inclusive Publishing in Australia: A Benchmarking Study’ held at the University of Sydney
This first-ever exploratory study of Australian book publishers and disability organisations seeks to better understand the issues affecting the production of accessible content. The principal aim of the study is to understand how accessible content is produced; identify the key challenges that the producers encounter; and develop a best-practice framework and practical resources for disability organisations and publishers to reduce the ‘book famine’ affecting people with print disabilities.
The project involves two surveys. The first survey ‘Inclusive Publishing in Australia’ is aimed at publishing staff involved in the production of books. The participation of all publishers is invaluable regardless if they are already involved in accessible publishing, have been thinking about it, or have no immediate plans to get started. The survey should take a maximum of 15 minutes to complete.
The second survey ‘Accessible Publishing in Australia’ is aimed at staff of disability organisations, who are directly involved in the conversion of books into accessible formats for the blind, visually impaired and print disabled persons The objective of this survey is to gauge the degree of satisfaction with the assistance provided by Australian publishers with the provision of content for conversion and to identify key barriers and facilitators to produce accessible formats. It is anticipated that the survey should take roughly 10 minutes.
The outcomes of this project will help support the work of AIPI. It is hoped that the findings will help improve the current retroactive conversion processes and assist with the development of truly inclusive publishing workflows so that people with print disabilities can easily and timely access books for education and/or pleasure.
Both surveys will be open until 31 July. To learn more about ‘Inclusive Publishing in Australia: A Benchmarking Study’ research project, please contact Dr Agata Mrva-Montoya via [email protected].
This research project has been developed in collaboration with and the support of the Round Table on Information Access for People with Print Disabilities Inc. and the Australian Publishers Association’s Australian Inclusive Publishing Initiative (AIPI).