New study on accessible educational publishing underway

A photograph of a child using both hands to interact with a tablet at a table.

The Schools and Educational Publishers Committee (SEPC) of the APA has commissioned a study of how accessibility is implemented in the sector, with the first stage of research now underway.    

The Towards Accessible Educational Publishing research project with the University of Sydney aims to investigate how accessibility is (or isn't) implemented in the current editorial and production workflows of educational publishers and educational technology companies. 

The goal is to identify challenges impeding the production of accessible educational media, to establish the best practices in implementing accessibility, and to develop an implementation framework.

The study is led by Dr Agata Mrva-Montoya, Director of the University of Sydney Masters in Publishing, and responds to changing accessibility legislation, and the impending changes to the procurement requirements from the NSW Department of Education. 

A photograph of Agata Mrva-Montoya, a brunette woman who wears glasses.

Dr Mrva-Montoya commented that ‘the interest in accessibility in the publishing industry is part of a broader “accessibility revolution”, which has been sweeping many industries and transforming the way things are done’.

The first stage of the research project involves a survey of all educational publishing staff based in Australia.

No matter what your understanding of accessible publishing or your role (including acquisitions, editorial, rights and permissions, production, marketing and managerial), your participation will be invaluable. 

To take part, and help expand our understanding of accessible publishing, please complete the survey by 31 May 2022.

The findings will support the APA in building publishing industry capability in producing 'born-accessible' digital books – that is, books with 'accessibility built in at the point of creation'. By transforming the way educational materials are produced, publishers can facilitate access to reading for students with print disabilities and remove barriers to achieving a full and equitable education.

To learn more about the Towards Accessible Educational Publishing research project, please contact Dr Agata Mrva-Montoya on [email protected] or 02 9114 1456.

Complete the survey now