Book publishers play an important role in delivering stories and information to the reading public. Over the years, innovations in how publishers offer this content has expanded the definition of what constitutes ‘reading’ – for instance, through the emergence of audio books, braille formats and large-font print books.
The Australian Publishers Association (APA) established the Australian Inclusive Publishing Initiative (AIPI) in 2016 to identify and solve the challenges and barriers that people with a print disability experience in reading traditional print books, and to support publishers in making their material available in accessible formats.
The participants at the AIPI’s first forum were from the publishing, disability, copyright, library and government sectors. The group has now expanded to include the key professionals whose services underpin the publishing process: editors, designers and illustrators, indexers and agents. All these groups have helped shape the AIPI, as well as contributing perspectives, advice and ideas to the guides published by the initiative.
Lee Walker, President of the APA, believes that inclusive design in book publishing is a strategic investment for the industry, allowing publishers to service a growing market. The AIPI is providing publishers with ideas to create clever, more efficient and more cost-
effective workflows to open up new ways of thinking about content, formats and user experience.
The AIPI is encouraged by the strong support for both the guides and the initiative from publishers across the country.
Inclusive Publishing in Australia: An Introductory Guide is intended to make implementing an inclusive publishing strategy as easy as possible. Inclusive publishing is good for both the community and business. Creating content that is designed to be accessible from the outset is industry best practice, and it remains the most efficient and effective means of removing barriers to accessibility for people living with a print disability.