Removing Barriers to Scholarly Work Through Accessible Digital Publishing

[Approximate Reading Time : 4 mins]

The publishing industry’s consideration of people with physical disabilities has come a long way in the last hundred years. In the 1920s, producing a few books printed in Braille, large typeface or audio versions as an act of charity seemed sufficient. The vast majority of individuals with a disability working in academia and the sciences remained dramatically underserved.

Over the years, attitudes slowly changed. Gradually, the move for the inclusion of all began to gain acceptance. Today, the majority of publishers embrace the idea of leveraging the available technologies of digital publishing to allow accessibility regardless of physical limitations.

Beyond Compliance

Congress passed and the president signed into law The Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990. The law, updated significantly in 2008 with the passage of the ADAAA, guarantees equal opportunity for all individuals with any form of disability.

Failure to follow ADA protocols can leave organizations vulnerable to severe penalties and lawsuit damages. However, even without this impetus, with one in seven people living with some sort of disability worldwide, many publishers realize that building accessibility into their products makes good business sense.

Inclusion Has a Direct Impact on a Company’s Success

In scholarly pursuits, as well as in other endeavors, people with disabilities are positively affecting outcomes on all fronts. One study reported that inclusion could have a direct and significant impact on a company’s bottom line. Many believe that the skills required to adapt to adversities posed by physical limitations translate into highly creative employees who thrive on all forms of problem-solving.

Often, the resiliency developed from living with a disability gives an employee unique viewpoints and abilities that can contribute significantly to a company’s success. By committing to inclusion and making it a core part of the culture, organizations benefit by accessing a segment of the population that can stand against challenges on the job.

New Approaches

The publishing industry now eagerly serves this substantial and lucrative segment of the working population. The diversification of efforts to make scholarly work accessible continues to grow and thrive. The proliferation of digital products such as databases, web applications, journals, podcasts and videos creates further opportunities. Thanks to technology, accessibility is now becoming a normal and expected part of how publishers disseminate knowledge.

Your Path to Accessibility

The benefits of producing content available to all are real and measurable. At Amnet, we utilize the latest technology to help publishers offer seamless accessibility in all of their information products. We can assist you by producing fully accessible digital versions of your existing products or helping you design accessibility into new products. Our dedicated project management and delivery teams are ready to work with you to serve those living with disabilities in your market.


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