Purchasing Born Accessible Software and Content Can Change the World

Handouts Media

Presented at 9:15am in Windsor on Friday, November 16, 2018.



  • George Kerscher, Chief Innovations Officer, DAISY Consortium
  • Robin Seaman, Director of Content Acquisition, Benetech
  • Philip Voorhees, Technology Accessibility Coordinator, University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV)

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Panel
  • Expertise Level: Beginner
  • Type of session: General Conference


It is incumbent on institutions to purchase accessible software and educational publications. Getting accessible software and content in to universities has been difficult, but there are some major breakthroughs! This session will cover techniques that work to purchase both accessible software, and certified born accessible published content.


When we reject inaccessible software and make accessibility a priority, we are getting rid of the bad and rewarding the good. The message is out ; accessibility is a priority. We have breakthroughs with video conferencing and webinar software that make it easy for students with disabilities to fully participate. Another consideration is where software is used to present digital content and ebooks. Both the software and the content must be accessible. Two pieces need to come together and here is where we have another major breakthrough to show. LMS and Reading Apps are continuously being evaluated for their compatibility with Assistive Technologies. Importantly, now that there is the EPUB Accessibility Conformance Specification and software to prove accessibility, EPUB materials can be proven to conform to WCAG AA. Certified as “Born Accessible” by a trusted third party will assure institutions that what they are purchasing is indeed all that it claims to be.


  1. Software that is accessible a high priority to reward developers.
  2. Content must be born accessible and conform to industry standards.
  3. Third party certification of published content is now available.

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Administrative/Campus Policy, Alternate Format, Assistive Technology, Legal, Other, Teaching about Accessibility in Curriculum, Uncategorized, Web/Media Access

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).

Robin Seaman

Philip Voorhees