Enabling Technologies Framework
The Enabling Technologies Framework was a three year project funded by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and endorsed by the Stakeholders Platform of WIPO. This is a joint project involving both EDItEUR and the DAISY Consortium (www.daisy.org). The project, which was led for EDItEUR by Sarah Hilderley, began in June 2010 and was completed in December 2013. During this period, there was a very rapid advance in practice towards ebook accessibility.
The continuing goal is to evolve mainstream publishing processes so that they are capable of delivering digital publications that are fully accessible to people with reading disabilities. Reading disabilities affect most of us at some point in our lives, whether it be visual impairment, mobility challenges, cognitive problems or even a temporary or situational disability. It is estimated that 10% of people experience difficulty when trying to access printed reading materials. If engineered properly, publishing processes should be able to yield digital products that can be used effectively by every member of society. The fundamental usability of digital publications should equally meet the needs of both mainstream users and persons with disabilities; our target is to allow the same product to be used by everybody.
The primary focus of work was to develop best practice guidelines for publishers to follow in their publishing processes. These guidelines were first published in April 2011, and are now available in several languages from the WIPO website.
In a joint project with JISC TechDis, EDItEUR also created a series of half-hour online training resources to help publishers in a range of different roles to make adjustments to business and workflow processes that will benefit all readers and, in particular, disabled readers. These resources complement the accessible publishing guidelines and signpost a wide range of supporting resources from different agencies. These too are also now available through the WIPO website.