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New Accessibility Conformance Specification; W3C and IDPF Complete Combination

2017 February 28
by George Kerscher

Since the beginning of the year, a lot has happened in the Standards space. Here is a very short summary.
On January 5, 2017 the IDPF officially published the EPUB 3.1 family of specifications for digital publishing. Most interesting for the accessibility community is the inclusion of the EPUB Accessibility 1.0 Conformance and Discovery Requirements for EPUB Publications.

On January 5, 2017 the IDPF officially published the EPUB 3.1 family of specifications for digital publishing. Most interesting for the accessibility community is the inclusion of the EPUB Accessibility 1.0 Conformance and Discovery Requirements for EPUB Publications.  http://www.idpf.org/epub/a11y/accessibility.html For the first time we have a formal specification that enables publications to be certified as accessible. This specification builds on WCAG 2.0 and adds requirements specific to published documents.

On February 1, the combination of the W3C and the IDPF was announced. The press release can be found at: https://www.w3.org/2017/01/pressrelease-idpf-w3c-combination.html.en This merger enables all IDPF Members to participate in the W3C Publishing Business Group (PBG) for two years at the same rates as were paid under the IDPF. Also, the EPUB 3.1 family of specifications, including the EPUB Accessibility 1.0 Specification have been submitted to the W3C. We are looking forward to having the W3C Lead the Web to its full potential for publishing! The Work previously conducted by the IDPF is moving to a variety of W3C groups:

  • The “Digital Publishing Interest Group” is developing a charter for a publishing working group that will lead to a specification to add the functionality of web publications (books in browsers) as well as an off-line downloadable form (e.g. EPUB 4).
  • The “Publishing Business Group” will be formed to lead publishing activities in the W3C.
  • An “EPUB 3 Community Group” has been formed to further develop the EPUB 3.1 family of specifications.  This is of particular importance because the publishing community needs a rock solid specification to use now and in the future; this provides a clear roadmap for publishing to use EPUB 3 now and eventually move to EPUB 4 and to web publications.

The EPUB 3 Community Group is free to join and open to anybody. You can learn more and sign up at:
https://www.w3.org/community/epub3/

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