How to incorporate accessibility throughout the publishing process

Digital AccessibilityIn his recent webinar, “Making Textbooks Accessible to Students With Disabilities”, Robert Martinengo, Publisher Outreach Specialist for the CAMI project at AMAC Accessibility, said that the issue of accessibility is even more important when it comes to digital products.

“The ability to navigate through a digital textbook is a critical component of accessibility,” he said. “Navigation is enabled by consistent and rational use of tags throughout the text.”

In addition to effective navigation, accessible manuscripts should also include these four elements, said Martinengo: [Read more…]

Textbook authoring in the digital age, Part two

Mary Ellen Lepionka

Mary Ellen Lepionka

There is a whole new language for the teaching and learning enterprise today, and it is not textbook-based. The very word textbook has become vilified, vulgarized—a dirty word associated (rightly and wrongly) with the profit-taking and business practices of commercial higher education textbook publishers. Expository writing on a course subject for digitized delivery is not even called a textbook. Rather, the product is content—in the form of learning objects, modules, and media assets, offered in the form of an online course or a portal or gateway to new (or newly networked) knowledge. The term textbook will become obsolete or will be narrowly defined to refer only to conversions—non-interactive digitizations of textbooks in print.

Textbook authoring in the Digital Age thus requires a different way of looking at yourself, your mission, and the students. Today, as an erstwhile textbook author, you are regarded not as an instructor but as an SME (subject matter expert). SMEs provide authoritative content and sources, organized into templates that reflect principles of instructional design. [Read more…]