Doing accessibility (see here for definition) right in Open Textbooks is a critical aim for the Rebus Community.
To this end, we want to develop good accessibility practices throughout the Open Textbook publishing process. This probably means something like the following:
a) make sure that authors/editors making Open Textbooks are aware of good accessibility practice from the start of the process
b) help authors easily implement good accessibility practice
c) provide a standard accessibility audit process after an Open Textbook is created (possibly with some tech tools associated)
d) provide a mechanism to “fix” accessibility problems found in the audit process (possibly with tech tools associated)
e) have an “accessibility stamp of approval” for projects that have successfully passed the accessibility audit
Are you interested in helping us work on accessibility practices? If so, please reply to this post.
This document outlines a workplan for developing Rebus Community approach to ensuring accessibility of all Open Textbooks produced by the Rebus Community, using one book project as a test case.
- An overview of typical accessibility problems in Pressbooks books
- A checklist of best practice solutions to typical accessibility problems
- Remediation of one existing Rebus Community project
- Recommendations for next steps
The Rebus Community for Open Textbook Creation has a mandate to support the creation of Open Textbooks, by:
- process: developing community-driven Open Textbook creation/publishing processes
- tools: developing software tools to support these community-driven processes
- collaboration: building (global) collaboration on Open Textbook publishing as a fundamental driver of both processes and tools
Rebus Community Open Textbooks are built using the open source Pressbooks Open Textbook publishing platform.
One of most important characteristics of Open Textbooks is that they can and should be accessible from the start, without requiring after-publication remediation.
To ensure that all Open Textbooks developed by the Rebus Community, accessibility must be built natively into the processes and tools, from the very beginning of a project.
- [DONE!] Identify a single Open Textbook book as a test case for typical accessibility problems
- Have multiple community members review/audit this book, and (each) produce a brief memo outlining the accessibility problems identified
- Collaborate together to develop a document that outines:
a) a shared vocabulary of typical accessibility problems
b) a checklist of “best practice” solutions to typical accessibility problems
- Collaborate (with the author) to implement remediation of the test case book
- Develop recommendations for:
a) building best practices upstream (!) into the Rebus Community authoring process
b) defining technical approaches/specifications in the authoring environment that could/would support accessibility improvements (upstream)
c) defining technical approaches/specifications in the publishing environment that could/would support automatic remediation of typical accessibility problems (downstream)