IPG Spring Conference+ - Rising to the Accessibility Challenge

IPG Spring Conference+ - Rising to the Accessibility Challenge

For any publisher selling eBooks into the European market, 28th June 2025 will be an important date. The conversation, the regulation - and now legislation - around accessibility of content has reached a key point whereby all eBooks sold into the EU will be accessible to those who otherwise find it hard to access print content in two years from now. This gives us a broader audience, bringing our stories and information to a wider group of people, expanding our reading communities as we expand the range of ways in which people can access our content. 

The IPG Spring Conference+ held an important session with Richard Orme, from Daisy Consortium, to share insight into what the European Accessibility Act and its June 2025 deadline means for publishers as well as the positive impact it will have on readers. We wanted to share this with you now as you continue to build and develop your accessibility strategy and product roadmaps. 

There is a huge amount you might want to read on this important topic but as a starting point, here are some key takeaways: 

What does this mean for publishers?

  • While, undoubtedly, publishers strive to have all format types accessible to all regions, the June 2025 deadline applies specifically to eBooks being sold into the EU.
  • Given that epub emerged in 2017, the foundations are in place and so we are not starting from scratch; this is another step in an existing journey towards accessibility. 
  • This should include backlist as well as frontlist (however there are some conversations around updating the entire backlist being a ‘disproportionate burden’, which may apply more to some large publishers). 

What kind of changes should we be implementing?

The purpose of this Act is to allow people who otherwise cannot access printed content to be able to thrive as readers of eBooks. This means that changes will include (but are not limited to): 

  • Changing text size 
  • Changing content colour 
  • Shortening line length 
  • Enabling text to be read aloud
  • Changing fonts 
  • Ensuring the content is navigable (e.g. any Table of Contents should be easy to move around) 
  • Including descriptions of images using Alt Text
  • Ensuring tables are marked up as such, not put in as images, so they can be read with a screen reader

Ultimately, an accessible eBook is a better eBook and the legislation here is in place to support the making of better books for more readers. It will require consideration, collaboration and lots of communication between teams and partners and there is support out there for this. 

For further information on this, you can visit https://daisy.org/activities/projects/inclusive-publishing/ 

And for further discussion around creating accessible recruitment and hiring processes, we at Inspired Selection would always welcome a conversation. Contact MD Suzy Astbury – s.astbury@inspiredselection.com or Search Director, Abigail Barclay – a.barclay@inspiredselection.com 




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