Future of Library Text Accessibility: The Promises and Potentials in EPUB

Much of what makes documents accessible to people with disabilities and their assistive technologies boils down to the file format. Every format comes with benefits and drawbacks when it comes to accessibility. Which format or formats should libraries choose to best benefit their patrons and the needs of archives and discovery? While our current efforts focus mostly on the long-in-the-tooth PDF format, innovations in newer formats, such as EPUB3, have great promise for improved reader experience and accessibility. 

This talk will cover what makes written content accessible (with a focus on documents typical to libraries) and what PDF, EPUB, and other formats succeed at. Emphasis will be given on the latest EPUB standards that have addressed multiple accessibility concerns, tools for working with EPUBs, and why the future of digital texts in libraries and repositories may shift away from the PDF.

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Inclusion & Accessibility Librarian at Syracuse University Libraries
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