eBooks and EPUB Accessibility

Thursday, March 23, 2017

General event information

With the rapid adoption of EPUB 3, a format is now available that provides some features that outstrip those of electronic setups originally designed to be a replica of print, such as PDF. You can create a better book, one that adapts to screen sizes and font size preferences. You can create a book that speaks to the user in every sense, including the most literal -- text to speech. Embedded media and greater flexibility are only the beginning. With the accessible EPUB conformance requirements now out, a framework is developing to make this super-powered format work for all readers. Join us on Thursday, March 23, 2017 for a one-day training seminar that will focus on how to create and implement accessible EPUB 3 in a variety of different settings.

The upcoming release of the EPUB accessibility conformance specification will be a prominent topic. At this event, speakers will discuss how the accessibility specification can help you achieve greater ease of access. We will also address the latest updates to EPUB to be released in version 3.1.

As more information about this exciting event becomes available, we will update this page, so be sure to check back often.

This event will be hosted under the auspices of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) Center of Excellence in Nonvisual Access to Education, Public Information, and Commerce (CENA), with financial support through the Non-Visual Accessibility Initiative grant from the State of Maryland. The CENA serves to share the considerable knowledge that the NFB and its partners have of web accessibility and access technology in order to bring about greater accessibility in government, education, and business; to promote best practices nationally; and to build Maryland’s status as leader in the field.

Keynote: Ushering in the Born Accessible Era

By George Kerscher Ph.D.
Now, for the first time it is clearly defined how to make verifiable assertions that a publication is accessible to a reader with a disability.  This presentation will explain how the EPUB Accessibility Specification 1.0 will enable publishers to boast about the fine work they have done to make their publications born accessible to persons with disabilities.  It will go on to explain what it takes to  meet the minimum baseline for accessibility. Finally a vision of how the certification of born accessible publications can impact education in both K-12 and Higher Education  will be imagined.


Plenary sessions

  • 8:00 a.m.: Welcome – Mark Riccobono, President, National Federation of the Blind (virtual), Anil Lewis, Executive Director of the Jernigan Institute, National Federation of the Blind
  • 8:30-9:30 a.m.: Ushering in the Born Accessible Era – George Kerscher (International Digital Publishing Forum, DAISY Consortium)
  • 9:30-10:00 a.m.: Break
  • 10:00-11:00 a.m.: Accessibility – It’s Never Been Easier to Achieve and Never More Important – Bill Kasdorf (Apex CoVantage)
  • 11:00 a.m.-noon: Toward a Born Accessible World – Brad Turner (Benetech)
  • Noon-1:30 p.m.: Lunch

Creation track

  • 1:30-2:30 p.m.: End to End Accessibility: From Creation to the User, and in Between. An Update on What Is Possible – Rick Johnson (VitalSource)
  • 2:30-2:45 p.m.: Break
  • 2:45-3:45 p.m.: Content Beyond Text: Making Images Accessible – Sue Ann Ma (Benetech)
  • 3:45-4:00 p.m.: Break
  • 4:00-5:00 p.m.: EPUB Conversion for Higher Ed. Students: Tips, Challenges, and What Works – Lora-Beth Allan (AMAC Accessibility Solutions & Research Center)

Management track

  • 1:30-2:30 p.m.: The Path to EPUB: AAP's Role in Publisher Policy and Practice – Allan Adler (Association of American Publishers)
  • 2:30-2:45 p.m.: Break
  • 2:45-3:45 p.m.: Choosing a Reading System: Your Silent Partner in Accessibility – Amy Mason (National Federation of the Blind)
  • 3:45-4:00 p.m.: Break
  • 4:00-5:00 p.m.: Challenges 2.0 – Jonathan Thurston (Pearson Higher Education)


National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute
200 E. Wells Street
at Jernigan Place
Baltimore, MD 21230


The event will start at 8 AM and conclude at 5 PM.


Standard registration: $100

Student registration (with valid ID): $25

Registration is closed.