Vision Australia’s Accessible Information Solutions, in conjunction with Benetech (US), Dedicon (Holland), and the Royal National Institute of Blind People (UK), today announced Global Certified Accessible. The program is the first third-party ebook verification program for accessible content. Global Certified Accessible supports publisher efforts to meet or exceed accessibility requirements for people with a print disability. Today’s announcement comes on the heels of a six-month beta program with participation from industry leaders spanning educational, academic, professional, and trade publications.
Global Certified Accessible ensures people unable to read standard print due to blindness, low vision, dyslexia, or a physical disability have equal access to the same content as their peers. The program has a global footprint in order to serve people around the world. Benetech developed the certification standards and serves as the lead certification provider for North America. Dedicon provides certification for mainland Europe, Royal National Institute of Blind People for the United Kingdom, and Vision Australia for Australasia.
Vision Australia has a strong commitment to accessibility, working in partnership with Australians who are blind or have low vision to achieve their greatest potential through education, employment and independence. To do this, we work with publishers, educational institutions, government and others to provide printed materials and other information in alternative formats. We are pleased to cooperate with leading organisations from around the world to offer this Global Certified Accessible program. Our aim through this service is to support those publishers and others that are striving to provide accessible materials, and provide feedback and formal recognition of the quality and efforts they have made to ensure their products are accessible.
Global Certified Accessible is part of the Born Accessible initiative, which encourages the education community to request accessible digital content and engages the publishing community to produce content that is accessible from the moment it is created. As a result of the recently released EPUB Accessibility Specification 1.0 and the growing demand for accessible materials, leading publishers and educational institutions are increasing their support for accessibility as a business and a classroom imperative.