The Case for Remediation of Accessible ePUB3

The Case for Remediation of Accessible ePUB3

Accessible ePUB files aim to ensure that digital publications are usable by all readers, including those with disabilities. Given the significance of accessibility in the digital world, here are unique reasons why accessible ePUB files might require frequent overhauls:

1. Evolving Accessibility Standards: Accessibility standards and guidelines, such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), are updated periodically to address new insights, technologies, and needs. As these standards evolve, ePUB files might require overhauls to stay compliant.

2. Assistive Technology Advancements: Tools and technologies, such as screen readers, text-to-speech systems, and braille displays, are continuously improving. An overhaul ensures that ePUB files remain compatible and optimized for the latest assistive tools.

3. User Feedback: Those who rely on accessible content can offer valuable feedback on how well an ePUB meets their needs. Overhauls based on user feedback can make the ePUB more genuinely accessible and user-friendly.

4. Changing Device Landscape: The device ecosystem, especially in the realm of accessibility, is dynamic. New devices might have specific requirements or capabilities that need to be considered in accessible ePUB files.

5. Refinement of Best Practices: As the publishing industry gains more experience and knowledge about accessibility, best practices get refined. An accessible ePUB created a few years ago might benefit significantly from the application of newer and better practices.

6. Legal and Regulatory Changes: Accessibility in digital publications is not just a matter of ethical responsibility. In many jurisdictions, it's also a legal requirement. As laws and regulations update, ePUB files might need overhauls to remain compliant.

7. Content Updates and Revisions: Anytime content is updated or revised, there's a potential impact on accessibility. New content needs to be made accessible, and this could necessitate an overhaul of the entire ePUB to ensure consistency.

8. Validation Tools and Techniques: Just as ACE and ePUBChecker get updates, so do other validation tools for accessibility. Using the latest tools can help publishers identify and rectify any emerging accessibility issues in their ePUB files.

9. Ensuring Broader Inclusivity: Beyond compliance, there's a broader goal of inclusivity. Over time, publishers might recognize the need to make their ePUBs more inclusive for a wider range of disabilities, not just the most commonly addressed ones.

In essence, the dynamic nature of technology, combined with the ongoing refinement of accessibility standards and best practices, means that accessible ePUB files benefit from frequent overhauls. These ensure that the files remain genuinely accessible, providing an optimal reading experience for everyone, regardless of their abilities.

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