Creating accessible OER and other materials by leveraging advanced features of Word and WordToEPUB

Handouts Media

Presented at 10:00am in Virtual C on Wednesday, November 18, 2020.



  • Richard Orme, Mr, DAISY Consortium
  • Joseph Polizzotto, , University of California, Berkeley
  • George Kerscher, , DAISY Consortium

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 45 minutes
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: Beginner
  • Type of session: Pre-conference


You can start making accessible OER and other educational content after 30 seconds with Word and WordToEPUB- but you can do a lot more than the simple click through mode. This session will show how to edit metadata, control page numbering, add a custom cover image, include descriptions, support multiple languages, include math expressions, customize styling and more.


Publishers are rightly held to account in respect to the accessibility of their digital publications. We should apply the same standards to Open Educational Resources and other materials produced for our learners. Fortunately this is becoming easier with toolchains such as Word and WordToEPUB. The results with the default settings are pleasingly good, but we can do better by using some simple approaches to unlock even more from this free tool. The resulting HTML and EPUB documents conform to global standards so will be compatible with commonly used learning platforms and will work well for learners with and without print disabilities.


  1. There are different techniques available for marking the page numbers from the original print publications
  2. Complex content inc tables, math expressions, citations and multiple languages can easily be included
  3. The appearance of HTML and EPUB publications can be adjusted selecting different CSS options

Disability Areas

Cognitive/Learning, Vision

Topic Areas

Accessible Educational Materials, Alternate Format, EPUB Track, Uncategorized, Web/Media Access

Speaker Bio(s)

Richard Orme

When teaching in a college in rural England more than 30 years ago, Richard encountered his first blind student, beginning a career in what we now refer to as accessibility. He has worked for local, national and international organizations, with young, old, and very old people, with visual, physical, dual sensory and cognitive disabilities. Having identified a critical lack of accessible curriculum materials in the UK, Richard led an initiative for a national database of accessible textbooks, now grown to become the national Education Collection operating as RNIB Bookshare.

Richard is Chief Executive of the DAISY Consortium, the global organization whose mission is to develop standards and solutions for accessible publishing and reading.He volunteers in his community as a home visitor, providing technology support for people with disabilities. Richard’s brother James has a profound learning disability, and his son Jim has dyslexia.

Joseph Polizzotto

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George Kerscher

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