Standard printed publications are not accessible to people with visual impairments. Many other categories of readers are not able to use the printed books, newspapers and magazines - including those with dyslexia, motor disabilities or age related macular degeneration. Collectively, these groups are often referred to as the 'print impaired'.
Obtaining and consuming digital content has changed. In addition to desktop computers, laptops and e-readers, people gain access to published content on their smartphones, tablets, phablets, MP3 players or other similar devices.
The EPUB Community has made progress recruiting people to test reading systems that support EPUB 3, but we still need many more. The DAISY Consortium are asking volunteers for help.
If you are associated with a university or other institution that will benefit from having reliable digital reading systems available for students with special needs, please participate and spend some time testing a reading system used on your campus or being considered for use.
HarperCollins UK thinks of itself as two things: format agnostic, and digitally thinking. Digital is part of the process right from the very start and is not considered as an add-on. They strive to publish in all appropriate format(s), simultaneously and it is up to the consumer whether they want the hardback, the ebook, the audiobook - all are available on first publication date. Customer choice is paramount and the EPUB file format allows HarperCollins to concentrate on providing maximum flexibility and maximum accessibility to content.
Text must not be presented as images, be reordered by CSS, or require scripting to be accessed. Use structural markup to define the natural reading order of the primary narrative and to distinguish secondary material such as footnotes, references, figures, and other auxiliary content.