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UBC Press Named Benetech Global Certified Accessible™ Publisher

Posted: Thursday, April 21, 2022

We're pleased to announce that UBC Press is now a Benetech Global Certified Accessible™ (GCA) publisher. Benetech, a nonprofit that empowers communities with software for social good, issues this accreditation to those publishers who produce EPUBs that meet a full range of accessibility features required to support the needs of all readers, including those with disabilities and learning differences. UBC Press completed certification through eBOUND Canada, a not-for-profit that enables independent Canadian publishers to engage in the digital marketplace.

For production editors Katrina Petrik and Meagan Dyer, who took the lead in pursuing the certification, “Reaching the highest level of accessibility has been an ambition years in the making. Encouraging the democratic exchange of ideas means ensuring all readers are able to participate in the discourse. We believe the features of accessible EPUBs not only support equal access but also enhance the reading experience for everyone.”

Melissa Pitts, director of UBC Press, adds, “As publishers we have a responsibility to our authors, and to our audiences, to make UBC Press publications accessible to the most inclusive range of readers possible. I am grateful to Katrina and Meagan, and everyone involved, for this significant achievement in support of that goal.”

“All digital content can – and should – be born accessible,” said Brad Turner, Vice President and General Manager of Global Education and Literacy at Benetech. “Readers can select UBC Press’s Global Certified Accessible ebooks trusting that they meet a wide range of accessibility needs.”

Benetech’s GCA publisher certification program is the first ever, third-party EPUB certification program to verify ebook accessibility. UBC Press demonstrated that it could consistently produce files in accordance with Benetech’s GCA certification standard, meeting the EPUB Accessibility 1.0 Conformance and Discovery specification and exceeding a publishing standard level of WCAG 2.0 AA. Benetech recognizes UBC Press as a creator of fully accessible EPUBs. eBOUND Canada, a GCA international partner, completed the evaluation.

“eBOUND believes that all content born digital, should be born accessible so that all people can have access to all content. As such, eBOUND is delighted to have formed a partnership with Benetech to support our Canadian independent publisher clients as they go through the important process of having all content born accessible. eBOUND’s goal is to have 80%+ of our publishing clients producing accessible content by 2024, supporting the goal of the Department of Canadian Heritage, who’s generous support has made this work possible” said Deborah Nelson, CEO of eBOUND Canada.

To learn more about Benetech’s Global Certified Accessible Program visit: http://bornaccessible.benetech.org

Posted by Megan M.
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