Going Further with EPUB


Presented at 8:00am in Denver 4-6 on Thursday, November 17, 2022.



  • Richard Orme, Mr, DAISY Consortium
  • George Kerscher, Chief Innovation Officer and Senior Officer, Global Literacy, DAISY Consortium and Benetech
  • Rachel Comerford, Senior Director, Accessibility Outreach and Communication, Macmillan Learning
  • Charles LaPierre, Principal, Accessibility Standards, and Technical Lead, Global Certified Accessible, Benetech

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 2-hr
  • Format: Lab
  • Expertise Level: Beginner
  • Type of session: General Conference


EPUB is the file format used globally in digital ebook publishing. It has been rapidly adopted for academic publications, not least for its extensive accessibility features and flexibility to support universal design for learning. This workshop will show library, faculty, and DSO colleagues how EPUBs are built on familiar web technologies. We will learn how to create, edit and check the accessibility of EPUB files.


The EPUB format has many universal design and accessibility advantages, and there are millions of titles available from publishers. In this session, we will look inside EPUB files to demystify and understand the anatomy of the format. Attendees will learn how to create beautiful and accessible EPUBs using free tools, how to edit EPUBs, and how to check they are valid and accessible.

You will leave feeling confident about making your own EPUB files from your own or faculty content, and how to check whether a digital publication in the EPUB format is suitable for your learners.

Attendees that are new to EPUB might like to also consider registering for the companion session “Getting Started with EPUB”.


  1. EPUB is the modern format for digital publishing with accessibility features that can benefit all learners.
  2. Anyone can create beautiful and accessible EPUB publications that learners will love.
  3. There are helpful tools to edit EPUB files, and check they are valid and accessible. And the tools are free.

Disability Areas

Cognitive/Learning, Vision

Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Accessible Educational Materials, Alternate Format, EPUB Track, Uncategorized

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 and is currently studying aerospace engineering at university.

George Kerscher

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 serves on the Advisory Board of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

Rachel Comerford

Rachel Comerford is the Senior Director of Accessibility Outreach and Communication at Macmillan Learning where she leads cross-functional efforts to ensure students of all abilities have access to their course materials. In 2020, BISG awarded Rachel the Industry Innovator award for her work helping Macmillan Learning to become the first Global Certified Accessible publisher by Benetech. Under her leadership, Macmillan was recognized by WIPO’s Accessible Book Consortium with the International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing in 2020 for their work towards providing educational materials that any student can use.

Charles LaPierre

??Charles has over 25 years’ accessibility development experience and has been a pioneer in accessible product development since 1993. Charles currently a member of the following W3C Working Groups: Publishing Working Group, MathML Refresh, ARIA, APA / Personalization Task Force, as well as a member of the EPUB3 W3C Community Group, and co-chair of the Accessibility Metadata W3C Community Group.? Charles is the technical architect of the new Global Certified Accessible initiative at Benetech to certify publisher content as conforming to the new EPUB 1.0 Accessibility Specification.? Charles has a bachelor's and master's degree in Electrical Engineering from Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada.


Going Further with EPUB - updated for AHG website Going Further with EPUB