EPUB 101: Understanding the Structure and Contents of an ePUB

Handouts Media

Scheduled at 1:30pm in Westminster I on Tuesday, November 14 (2017).



  • Rachel Comerford, Senior Director of Content Standards and Accessibility, Macmillan Learning
  • Amy Salmon, Senior Accessibility Consultant, TechForAll
  • Korey Singleton, , George Mason University

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 3-hr
  • Format: Lab
  • Expertise Level: Beginner
  • Type of session: Pre-conference


Accessibility Services Offices have traditionally requested word or pdf files from publishers in order to remediate them for students. This workshop will explore ePUB as a standard format for ebooks by breaking down the basic elements of the file (CSS, JS, XHTML) and exploring simple methods for editing them and checking their accessibility.


More and more publishers are moving to ePUB as a standard ebook format, not in small part due to the accessibility opportunities that is presents. What does this mean for Accessibility offices on campus? More materials to students, faster, and with less work to do in the office. But how can accessibility teams be sure they are getting what they need to students? What does an accessible epub contain?

Working with colleagues and experts, we'll break down the guts of an epub package, explore simple editing techniques for the files, and most importantly, identify what makes an epub accessible and how to check for those features. You should leave this workshop feeling confident that you can find accessible ePUBs for your students.


  1. Understand what the elements of an accessible ePUB are
  2. Learn how to check an ePUB for accessibility
  3. Gain basic/beginner knowledge of ePUB editing

Disability Areas

Topic Areas

Alternate Format, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Rachel Comerford

Rachel Comerford is the Senior Director of Content Standards and Accessibility at Macmillan Learning where she spearheads cross-functional efforts to ensure customer satisfaction and access for all. Recent projects include the implementation of a company-wide accessibility training initiative, accessibility authoring and quality assurance guidelines, and a new customer outreach and response plan.

She has over a decade of experience in the print and digital publishing world. Prior to coming to Macmillan as an editor, she held a variety of editorial and sales positions at WW Norton and Pearson.

Amy Salmon

Since 2001, Amy has been providing reviews of technology products and websites, ensuring compliance with accessibility standards and best practices for people with disabilities. As a user of screen reader technology she has been a major contributor to several clients’ projects such as California State University, VitalSource Technology, United Airlines, and Verizon Wireless. Amy has published and presented several papers at the International Technology and Persons with Disabilities and the Accessing Higher Ground conferences, created and presented numerous accessibility training courses for TFA clients. Amy has a Master’s of Science degree in Rehabilitation for the Visually Impaired from Northern Illinois University where she graduated Summa Cum Laude.

Korey Singleton

Korey Singleton manages the George Mason University Assistive Technology Initiative (ATI). The ATI works collaboratively with other units within the Mason community to develop and coordinate the implementation of a university-wide plan to ensure equivalent access for individuals with disabilities to information technology and communications. He has worked as an assistive technology specialist for over 17 years providing needs assessments, training, and technology support at home, in the workplace, and in the educational environment for individuals with sensory, physical and cognitive impairments, including persons with multiple disabilities.


  • ePUB 101

    Understanding the basic content and structure of epub

    PPT from meeting session