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Research has shown that readers read more often than others. Clarity is also a dynamic process that follows the changing habits of readers.
It is surprising to note how Gothic literature, which we now think of as little clear, preceded the literary forms of humanity during the fourteen and fifteen centuries in the same way that type, which we now think of as little clear, preceded.
Mirum est notare quam littera gothica, quam nunc putamus parum claram, anteposuerit litterarum formas humanitatis placerat facer possim assum.Angelina Johnson, Envato Market
It’s official. Publishers are getting on with aceessibility. – they are realising that many of the “challenges” are not as daunting as they first thought and with the arrival of EPUB 3 and now the Ace by DAISY EPUB accessibility checking tool, there is every reason to look forward to increased access to mainstream ebooks in the future.
However, the one area that still comes up in conversation is image descriptions and how to tackle them for all kinds of books, be they simple texts with a few graphics, to complicated works that can be rich in complex material
This is a good dilemma to have. We no longer find ourselves having to advocate heavily for accessible publishing and rather we are now in the preferred position of helping publishers realise that they can do this – that it’s not as difficult as they might have first thought, for the most part.
Bill Kasdorf, in his recent article for Inclusive Publishing If Accessibility Is So Easy, Why Is It Still So Hard? identified image descriptions as the “top challenge” for publishers:
“You may think the issue is just that they need to do them. But there’s way more to it than that. They need to understand how to do them properly, and when not to do them.”
It’s so important for publishers to grasp the reason for image description and alt text, to get to grips with how to tackle them and how to relate them to the context in which they appear. Does an image need a particular style of description based on the expected reading audience? You may need to provide an environmental description of a landscape or perhaps a geographical one….