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Resources for Creating Accessible Books

It is estimated that only 5-10% of books are built with accessibility in mind. What can authors, editors, ebook developers, and publishers do so a broader audience can access their books?

Below are a selection of resources, created by NNELS and our partners, to help you get started. 

  • Resources for Publishers: Created by the NNELS team of accessibility testers, this set of resources spells out in plain language how to make quality digital books, covering everything from basic best practices to how to use InDesign to generate a decent EPUB and how to write image descriptions. This is the perfect place to start to learn more about accessible publishing.
  • A Crash Course in Ebook Accessibility: Created by NNELS with funding from the Government of Canada, this video series covers the basic principles of making accessible ebooks. It's a great introduction for both newbies and those already making ebooks. No technical knowledge required!
  • Accessible Publishing Knowledge Base: Created by the DAISY Consortium, this is the authority of accessible ebook publishing. Ebooks are composed of HTML code (the language of the web), so we encourage you to familiarize yourself with it! The Accessible Publishing Knowledge Base explains how all parts of a digital book should be coded (from headings and lists to images and tables); it gives clear explanations for why it's important alongside code techniques and code examples. Its primary focus is on EPUB, but can be used as a reference for any HTML-based format.
  • Word2EPUB tool: A free tool to convert your Word documents to beautifully clean and accessible EPUB! All you need to know is how to properly use Microsoft Word, no HTML knowledge is required. Developed by the DAISY Consortium, this plugin works on Microsoft Word for Windows. Documentation on how to use the plugin can be viewed here.
  • Make your Word documents accessible to people with disabilities: Simple tips that will make your Word document accessible to people with print disabilities. If your Word document is accessible, then you can convert to an accessible PDF or EPUB (with the Word2EPUB tool) with ease!
  • Accessible Fonts: Learn more about selecting and using accessible fonts in your documents, website, handouts, and presentations. This resources outlines the font and font attribute preferences of the NNELS testers.