Baseline for Accessible EPUB 3

EPUB 3 is based on the open web platform and HTML5. We all benefit from the work done by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), and many of the features of EPUB 3 will be useful for persons with disabilities without additional work from the publisher. At the same time, there are specific accessibility requirements that need attention outside of traditional publisher workflows. Please review the EPUB Accessibility specifications.

The grant will help us develop tools for publishers so that they can create digital books that can be read by anyone, regardless of their disability.


To create industry-wide specifications for defining the accessibility requirements for e-publications.

To develop the infrastructure for supporting implementations in the whole supply chain, from the publishers through the distributors/retailers, to the end users.

Therefore, the project is designed in four dimensions:

  • Developing EPUB accessibility specification and certification: Defining what publishers need to do to make their publications accessible, and facilitating its implementation with accessibility certification. It includes both - accessibility metadata and content accessibility.
  • Developing accessibility checking tool to assist publishers in implementing the specification for baseline accessibility. Specifically, highlighting accessibility related warnings and errors and providing recommendations. This tool is also essential for enabling any third party and consumers (procurement offices in education etc.) to check the accessibility claims of publishers and content creators.
  • Evaluating reading systems for accessibility: Defining the fundamental as well as advanced accessibility testing criteria for reading systems. Evaluating reading systems for providing feedback to developers. Informing educational institutions and readers.
  • Developing an inclusive publishing information hub: Disseminating information about inclusive publishing and reading targeted to publishers, the technology industry, educational institutions and readers. Accessible publishing resources will be added to

Project governance and management:

The four-dimensional project is co-chaired by George Kerscher and Avneesh Singh. They form the governance team, and each of the dimensions of the project is led by respective domain experts.

For more information about the project, please visit