Presentation on theme: "Alternative formats in the real world: Winners and losers."— Presentation transcript:
Alternative formats in the real world: Winners and losers
A story you might know “See,” cried the youngest, “there is another swan come; a new one has arrived.” Then they threw more bread and cake into the water, and said, “The new one is the most beautiful of all.” He had been persecuted and despised for his ugliness, and now he heard them say he was the most beautiful of all the birds. Hans Christian Anderson – The Ugly Duckling
A story you might not know A story with plenty of dramatic ingredients Famine and hardship. Overlooked actors. New opportunities. Conflict and confusion. The road to wisdom. Happy ever after.
The research CLAUD - a group of HE librarians in South West England working to help create libraries accessible to users with a disability JISC TechDis - a leading UK advisory service on technologies for inclusion. Working with publishers and libraries to minimise barriers for disabled learners.
What we already knew about e-books..
The e-book promise - 1 MagnifyReflow Recolour
The e-book promise - 2 Format shiftNavigate Interoperate
The beneficiaries Magnify Enough to support a wide range of users……………………… Reflow So that magnified text still fits the page. ……………………….. Recolour So people who need different contrasts can read easily……… Format shift So people can read with ears as well as eyes …………………. Navigate In using the semantic structure of the text ……………………... Interoperate With different assistive technologies ……………………………. (text to speech, screen-reader, voice recognition, keyboard/switch). V.I.DyslexiaMotor control
What we already knew about publishers..
Business culture and customers. Few accessibility requests. Uneconomic to invest in improvements. Limited expertise developed. New products lack accessibility. Many accessibility requests. Invest in improvements. Expertise develops. New products more accessible. or…..
Bad news? Good news? A complex business with many players and many rights to consider.. Publishers Association joint statement Publishers Association joint statement on e-books and accessibility. Lack of accessibility awareness in traditional publisher training. National Occupational Standards for publishers now incorporate accessibility.National Occupational Standards Enabling Technologies framework guidance.Enabling Technologies framework Joint EDItEUR / JISC TechDis online training modules.EDItEUR / JISC TechDis online training Technology convergence.EPUB3 offers high accessibility. Accessible e-books are more ‘mobile friendly’. Well tagged text offers micro-business opportunities.
What we didn’t know about libraries..
Is there a problem? In the mythical land of average… ~ 15,000 students in a university ~ 675 students are ‘Print impaired’ Assume 3 core texts per learner requests/yr actual median value = between 5 and 15
Are mainstream products doing the trick? - 1 Was accessibility specified in procurement?
Are mainstream products doing the trick? - 2 Which of these features are present on your e-book systems?
Are mainstream products doing the trick? - 3 Who could tell you about the accessibility of your mainstream systems?
A checklist for staff and students Maximum font size? Does text reflow when enlarged? How can a user change colours or contrasts? Are there keyboard-only equivalents for all mouse actions? Where could I find a list? Are there shortcut keys? How many ways can text be navigated? (More is better). Can text be selected and read by text-to-speech tools? Are text descriptions available for relevant graphics and images? Where can I find guidance for all these features? Were disabled people involved in user testing? Which technologies and what results?
Who gets supported? - 1 …and how often do they cross your horizon?
Who gets supported? - 2 Curious…
What does best practice look like in theory….
What does best practice look like in practice? Who offers what in libraries supporting more than 25 requests/year? Disability and TranscriptionLibrary
How does less responsive practice compare? Who offers what in libraries supporting less than 5 requests/year? Library
Proactivity without pain - 1 Work smart not hard Working to correct the mistakes of others?
Proactivity without pain - 2 Find out what you can then pass it on.
Proactivity without pain - 3 Make DIY assistive technology mainstream Heather, Stewart, Jess, Jack, Gwyneth, Geraint. Every organisation, Every workstation, Every learner.
Proactivity without pain - 4 Work with teaching staff Promote responsive publishers for reading lists. The cost of alternative formats from unresponsive publishers can be borne by the curriculum department who put them on the list. Reading list – what? Reading list – who?
Publisher requests – a half way house? I find that publishers a very helpful in offering their e- files. This saves us from scanning a printed book - the e-files are clean from graffiti too. We have spent ages erasing graffiti before scanning. It should be the most efficient way of meeting users' needs, but some publishers are lamentably slow to respond and US publishers often put up barriers, e.g. by insisting that a student buys a personal copy before they will supply the file. ?
Conclusion Libraries Number of requests met. How provided. Who provided for. How scaleable. Strategic influence on procurement. reading lists. Suppliers Accessibility of eBook platforms. Guidance available. Accessibility of PDFs. Speed of response. Licensing and costs. Lots of inconsistencies Lots of opportunity for transformation of practice for mutual benefit of learners, librarians and publishers.
The duckling could be seriously swan-like…. Alistair McNaught Shirley Evans