We are working to create a new, collaborative model for publishing open textbooks. Critical to our success in reaching this goal is to ensure that all books produced using that model meet the needs of all those who will one day use them. To us, open means inclusive, so for a book to be open, it must also be accessible.
As a result, we are working with accessibility experts and others in the OER community to develop best practices for creating accessible open textbooks, and are building those practices into the Books4Languages model of publishing. By doing this, we hope to ensure that all books produced using the Books4Languages Community are accessible by default, and require an absolute minimum of remediation or adaptation to meet any individual reader’s needs.
While we work on developing guidelines and implementing support for authoring accessible content, we are making a good faith effort to ensure that books produced with our support meet accessibility standards wherever possible, and to highlight areas where we know there is work to do. It is our hope that by being transparent on our current books, we can begin the process of making sure that accessibility is top of mind for all authors, adopters, students, and contributors of all kinds on all our open textbook projects.
Below is a short assessment of eight key areas that have been assessed during the production process. The checklist has been drawn from the BCcampus Open Education Accessibility Toolkit. While a checklist such as this is just one part of a holistic approach to accessibility, it is one way to begin our work on embedded good accessibility practices in the books we support.
Wherever possible, we have identified ways in which anyone may contribute their expertise to improve the accessibility of this text.