Accessible Publishing Tips: Working with a digital production vendor

By Ashley Wells Ajinkya, posted on

Benetech’s Global Certified Accessible (GCA) is the first-ever independent third-party digital accessibility certification program. We help publishers and conversion vendors create born accessible content that meets the needs of all readers by aiding in the remediation of their production workflows so files are accessible from the start. To learn more about Born Accessible and GCA, visit our website.

Question: If a publisher is interested in becoming Global Certified Accessible, should they work with a conversion vendor who is already certified, or can their current vendor also become certified? Why is it important for a publisher and their conversion vendor to be certified? 

Answer: If a conversion vendor you work with isn’t currently certified, they certainly can be! The vendor could go through certification at the same time as the publisher, as well as before or after. Publishers aren’t required to work with certified vendors, but those who are certified can best understand provided accessibility specifications and execute them in the production process. View our certified vendors

It is important to note that conversion vendors should be provided with the mentioned accessibility specifications for each title. Without this information, the title may not be produced to meet accessibility standards. Once the publisher receives the completed file, it should be reviewed by the production team to ensure all accessibility specifications have been met. 

Publishers are also the only entity that can create accessibility metadata for a title. Conversion vendors are not capable of creating this metadata for a publisher, though they can add publisher-provided accessibility metadata to a title’s file. Read more about accessibility metadata

During or after certification, GCA may ask publishers to share who their conversion vendor is and to make an introduction. When a publisher and their conversion vendor are both certified, this sets the production workflow up for optimal success. Titles that go through these workflows are more likely to meet accessibility standards and requirements, which will provide readers with the best possible accessible book file. 

Remember, readers with disabilities aren’t the only people who benefit from an accessible book! For instance, text to speech (TTS) can be just as beneficial for a multitasking reader as it is for a visually impaired reader. All readers can use accessible features to enhance their reading experience. Read stories about the ways accessible books help readers learn, work, and pursue their dreams. 

Do you have questions? Are you ready to learn more about GCA certification? Visit the Born Accessible website to learn more or click here to send us a message.