Accessibility Metadata – A Digital Textbook Superhero!

Presented at 2:15pm in Governors Square 10 on Wednesday, November 17, 2021.



  • Erin Lucas, Head of Digital Accessibility, RedShelf

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: Intermediate
  • Type of session: General Conference


Are you struggling to keep accessibility at the forefront of your decision-making process when it comes to selecting and adopting digital course materials? In the age of digital learning, where can you turn to make easier, more accessible decisions for every student? Enter Accessibility Metadata — the unsung superhero of today's digital content.


The pandemic has changed education. It has changed the way our faculty teach and the way students learn. What hasn’t changed is the fundamental need to ensure that every student has an equal and effective learning experience. With schools moving to digital course materials at an accelerated pace, decision-makers and campus influencers need help identifying course materials that are Born Accessible and meet the needs of every student, even to those who never disclose an existing disability.

Never fear, help is on the way...Accessibility Metadata to the rescue! This action-packed presentation will unmask the hidden superhero inside EPUB and enable you to harness its power on campus.

We'll answer questions like:

What is Accessibility Metadata? Where does it come from? Why is it hidden? How do I decipher it (will I need a secret decoder ring)? What are the student and campus benefits it provides?

All this, and more, awaits you in this exciting and informative session.


  1. Campus course material influencers need to have more tools to make accessible choices for their students.
  2. Surfacing accessibility metadata for course materials can assist downsized Accessibility Offices.
  3. Many publishers are including Accessibility Metadata but it's not automatically exposed to consumers.

Disability Areas

Cognitive/Learning, Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Vision

Topic Areas

Accessible Educational Materials, Assistive Technology, EPUB Track, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Erin Lucas

My role as Head of Digital Accessibility at Red Shelf is to ensure our digital products exceed expectations for our ALL customers and partners. As a key component of our product team, my team supports the implementation of an accessibility-first Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC), as well as accessibility testing procedures, policies, and remediation plans. We are also the liaison for campus accessibility offices when they need support for their students.

Prior to coming to Red Shelf, I spent 20+ years in the Federal Government IT sector (15 of those years at the Department of Defense), coordinating Section 508 compliance and ensuring design consistency and usability for contractor-developed government software and websites. I’m also a certified DHS Trusted Tester, a program which enforces a code-inspection based test approach for determining software and website conformance to Section 508 standards.