Working together to improve access to books

BrailleNet, Arald and the Enssib are organising a professional meet-up on the 7th December in Lyon to look at ways to improve access to reading for people with disabilities.

This event is geared towards all those who work with books, from publishers to transcribers, librarians, e-book platform designers, digital reading app developers, academics and students.

In France, only 8% of books available on the market are available in accessible formats (talking books, Braille, large print, etc.) and born accessible books are still a rarity. For text books and STEM publications, the figures are even more alarming. Making reading accessible is not only a question of producing accessible content; the entire chain must be accessible, from e-commerce platforms and digital libraries to desktop and mobile reading apps.

In order to improve the situation, therefore, all stakeholders need to come together and consider the ecosystem as a whole. This is the objective of this event which will include presentations, demonstrations and above all workshops where participants will be invited to exchange ideas and suggestions on how to improve access to reading for people with disabilities.

Registration is free and open to all. To book a place, visit our Eventbrite page (in French).

Practical information

Date: Thursday 7th December, 9am to 5pm

Address: Enssib, 17-21 bd du 11 novembre 1918, Villeurbanne, France

Provisional programme

9:00 Registration

9:30 Welcoming address

10:00 Changes to the legal context

10:20 Making press archives accessible (Alizé Buisse, Arald)

10:40 Access to books and reading: an overview of the current situation (Alex Bernier, BrailleNet)

11:00 Workshops, session 1

  • Publishing: How can the editorial process be improved and responsibility better shared? How does accessible publishing fit in with mainstream publishing?
  • Reading: What role can standards play in improving the quality of accessible digital books and the user experience as a whole?
  • Searching: How can disabled users be pointed towards accessible collections? What tools and signposts can be developed to improve findability?

12:30 Lunch break

14:00 Demonstrations of reading tools: digital Braille, audio, etc.

14:00 Workshops, session 2

  • Purchasing: How can e-book retailers and content providers be encouraged to make their platforms accessible?
  • Sharing: How can organisations better share their work?
  • Supporting: What incentives might help improve the current situation?

16:30 Conclusion