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Update on DIAGRAM Standards Working Group

2016 March 11
by George Kerscher


Three domains are interacting making for some exciting developments: the W3C in the DPUB Interest Group, IDPF in the EPUB 3.1 Standards development, and DAISY driving an EPUB Accessibility Profile and the nascent developments of a certification approach. All three groups are closely collaborating in efforts to harmonize the work. The DPUB work is focused on an ARIA module for publishing, and their accessibility group is developing a formal “note” on WCAG 2’s application to digital publishing. IDPF Kicked off the EPUB 3.1 Standards development in November and is targeting the completion of this standard by the end of 2016. In Boston on February 24 & 25 at the EPUB for Education conference, the concept of an EPUB Accessibility Profile, which can be applied to any EPUB 3 Standard, was launched. To elevate the importance of accessibility, discussion of how to develop a formal certification process was started.

Digital Publishing WAI-ARIA Module 1.0

In EPUB 3, semantics were added using the EPUB-type attribute. Using WAI-ARIA roles, states, and properties, will better align EPUB developments with the web. I expect this module to be approved by the W3C when ARIA 1.1 is approved, which is expected in 2016.

Digital Publishing Accessibility Note

The Digital Publishing Accessibility Note is intended to examine the W3C/WAI (Including but not limited to WCAG 2.0) to identify their applicability to digital publishing, as in the EPUB Standards. It goes on to identify areas where W3C/WAI technologies are absent, such as in packaging a set of HTML documents in a single publication or where “page numbers” exist in digital publications. It is expected that this note will be submitted to the W3C as an informative document in the second quarter of 2016.

EPUB 3.1 Editors Draft Published

EPUB 3.1 is focused on refining the 3.01 Standard and reducing implementation barriers. There is also an area of development that will enable a “web manifestation,” which means the publication can be placed on the Web unzipped. The web manifestation would make it much easier for cloud-based reading systems to present EPUB publications. EPUB 3.1 is expected to be completed by the end of 2016

EPUB for Education (was EDUPUB)

The second editor’s draft of “EPUB for Education” was released on February 19.  This introduces a name change from EDUPUB to EPUB for Education. It also introduces an IMS Global “Learning Tools Integration” (LTI) Section.   It is expected that many educational publishers will use these advanced features to create more interactive educational content using the EPUB Standard.

EPUB Accessibility Profile (baseline) and Certification

On February 24 at the EDUPUB Alliance meetings in Baltimore, the development of an EPUB Accessibility Profile and Certification was kicked off. The presentations and panels saw the publishing, technology, and disability communities come together to jointly figure out solutions that will ensure that we have an Inclusive Publishing Society. Please bookmark and sign up to track the efforts or to join in on the work. This website was also formally launched on February 24 and we [DAISY] plan to make this an important website for information related to accessible publishing.

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