Discovering and Buying Born Accessible EPUB




  • George Kerscher, Chief Innovations Officer, DAISY Consortium
  • Teressa Keenan, Head, Bibliographic Management Services and Accessibility Liaison., University of Montana.
  • Charles LaPierre, Technical Lead, DIAGRAM and Born Accessible, Benetech

Session Details

  • Length of Session: Quick Talks
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: Beginner
  • Type of session: Pre-conference


Today digital books have metadata used for marketing and discovery. While the details are complicated, the presentation of this valuable accessibility information must be simple and easy to use for students, professors, and the DSO professionals. We will explain how to find accessibility metadata, what it means, and how it can help your campus.


How does a student, a professor, or a librarian know if the published title they are considering to purchase or select for a course is accessible? Now, Born Accessible EPUB 3 books and journals must contain sufficient accessibility metadata to make this determination. This session will explain the accessibility metadata available and how to interpret it. We will also look at the various digital bookstore services, such as VitalSource and RedShelf to see how they present the accessibility metadata, and if they are following the User Experience Guide from the W3C for this purpose. We will review some best practice recommendations for procurement and selection of titles that are best for students and helps the university avoid legal exposure. Finally, we will learn about the current status of libraries and their initiatives to Buy Born Accessible EPUB 3, and how they expose this valuable information to patrons.


  1. Accessibility metadata is available for all Born Accessible EPUB 3 publications, which informs the purchaser.
  2. Accessibility metadata about EPUB 3 titles can guide students and professors in their decisions.
  3. Librarians must be aware of accessibility metadata before purchasing, and it must be exposed in the catalog.

Disability Areas

Topic Areas


Speaker Bio(s)

George Kerscher

George Kerscher Ph.D.

“Access to information is a fundamental human right.” 2003 to the United Nations George Kerscher began his IT innovations in 1987 and coined the term "print disabled." George is dedicated to developing technologies that make information not only accessible, but also fully functional in the hands of persons who are blind or who have a print disability. He believes properly designed digitally published materials and web pages can make information accessible to all people. George is an advocate for semantically rich content which can be used effectively by everybody. As Chief Innovations Officer of the DAISY Consortium, Senior Advisor, Global Literacy to Benetech, and member of Publishing Groups in the W3C, Kerscher is a recognized international leader in document access. In addition, Kerscher chairs the DAISY/NISO Standards committee, Chairs the Steering Council of the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI, and also serves on the Advisory Board of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

Teressa Keenan

Charles LaPierre