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Inclusive Publishing in Australia: An Introductory Guide

Posted on: 16 April 2019

The Institute of Professional Editors (IPEd) and the Australian Publishers Association (APA) are pleased to announce the launch of Inclusive Publishing in Australia: An Introductory Guide at the welcome reception for the IPEd National Editors Conference on Wednesday 8 May. 
Cover of Inclusive Publishing in Australia: An Introductory Guide

This important resource is an introduction to accessible publishing for anyone involved in the publishing process. The guide explains how inclusion and accessibility benefit both the community and business, and offers a range of workflow strategies and resources for creating accessible digital books that are inclusive by design.

The guide has grown from the Australian Inclusive Publishing Initiative (AIPI), which was launched in 2016 to foster a collaborative, consultative and consensus-based approach to tackling accessibility problems in Australia. Its members include representatives of the publishing industry, authors, agents, editors, designers, indexers, libraries, copyright organisations, disability associations, government and accessible-format providers. The aim of the AIPI is to increase access to published material for people living with print disabilities in Australia. This guide is a resource that supports this aim.

President of the APA and AIPI participant Lee Walker says, “Inclusive design is a strategic investment for the publishing industry, allowing publishers to service a growing market. It also provides publishers with the opportunity to create clever, more efficient, and more cost-effective workflows and opens up new ways of thinking about content, formats and user experience. This guide provides information to help publishers realise this vision.”

According to Vision Australia (another AIPI participant), a print disability is a difficulty or inability to read printed material due to a perceptual, physical or visual disability. Vision Australia representative Anthea Taylor says, “The reasons people have a print disability are quite varied. They range from having a vision impairment or blindness through to having Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis, having a brain injury, dyslexia, literacy issues or early dementia. Those who ultimately benefit from this guide are part of a broader pool than most might think.”

Inclusive Publishing in Australia: An Introductory Guide has been co-authored by IPEd’s Julie Ganner, who says, “Editors have an important part to play in creating publications that are inclusive by design. As publishers become increasingly aware of the barriers to reading that people with a print disability can experience, editing for accessibility is likely to become a standard part of editorial briefs. It’s therefore important that editors start preparing for this now. We already have the necessary language skills. We just need to think about how we can use them to ensure every reader can access the information being conveyed, irrespective of the medium or technology they use to do so.”

IPEd's CEO, Karen Lee, says “IPEd's Board has given support around developing national editing standards that build on this guide. IPEd believes there is a great need to ensure that, regardless of their situation, people will never be discriminated against or prevented from accessing content.”

Inclusive Publishing in Australia: An Introductory Guide will be available for free download after the launch at aipi.com.au, and printed copies of the guide will be available to conference delegates. IPEd’s biennial conference is an exciting opportunity for editors and other publishing professionals, researchers, students and associates to connect, learn and celebrate best practice in editing and publishing. The 9th National Editors Conference is being hosted by Editors Victoria, a branch of IPEd, at the Pullman Melbourne on the Park, 192 Wellington Parade Melbourne, 8–10 May 2019.

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