The case of LIA-Libri Italiani Accessibili. Cristina Mussinelli, Secretary General of Fondazione LIA

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1 The case of LIA-Libri Italiani Accessibili Cristina Mussinelli, Secretary General of Fondazione LIA

2 LIA: project, service, foundation LIA was established as a project funded by the Ministry of Cultury, the implementation of which has prompted Italian Publishers Association three years of works ( ). From May 2014 LIA has assumed the status of a non-profit foundation, aims to engage in activities to promote books and reading, in all its forms, both traditionale and digital, through education, information, awareness and research in this area. The Foundation intends to, in particular: promote reading among all vulnerable groups through initiatives to expand their access to publishing products through reasearch and technological innovation; spread a culture of accessibility in the interests of network, awareness of publishers and other companies in the digital publishing industry (distributors, booksellers, manufacturers of hardware and software, etc..); training for users weak, with reference to both visually impaired and other types of disabilities both uncomfortable conditions that make it difficult social or cultural relationship with reading. 2

3 The LIA approach The approach adopted by LIA is characterized by three keywords: digital = reading technology and e-books interoperability = standards for both formats and description. Standard also means international user involvement = strong collaboration with Italian Blind Union and Istituto Cavazza in defining users requirements and in testing 3

4 Accessibile reading: the Italian contest The state of the art before 2013 Accessible versions were created, on demand by individual users, by dedicated structures that, starting from printed books, make publications in specific formats: Braille Enlarged characters Audiobook The role of the Italian Government The ad hoc creation is very expensive. Many public fundings for many microresults. The reader Long time, long delay before obtaining the desired text 4

5 Accessibile reading: the Italian contest The state of the art Accessible versions, thanks to the LIA-Libri Italiani Accessibili service, are created by publishers distributed in mainstream channels in ebook format (EPUB) that can be read: with Braille displays The role of the Italian Government The Ministry of Culture has financed LIA service in compliance with a special fund addressed to blind e visually impaired people (Law 296/2006) The reader To be able to access accessible versions in the same way and at the same time as any other reader 5

6 DIFFERENT WORKFLOWS FOR 1 EACH USER 1 Key aspect: Accessibility: traditional vs digital 1 books=10 braille books 1 ebook=1 ebook readable 1 book=10 enlarged characters 1 book=1 audiobook (Cd, mp3) 1 book= 1 file with low editorial quality with Braille displays 1 ebook= 1 ebook readable 1 ebook=1 ebook readable 1 ebook=1 is a file with high editorial quality 1 WORKFLOW FOR MANY USERS 6

7 2 Key aspect: full inclusion approach The driving concept of LIA is its breakthrough approach to accessibility: same books same channels same information same reading system for an inclusive digital reading experience 7

8 The result: The LIA service LIA-Libri Italiani Accessibili is a service managed by Fondazione LIA that provides more of titles in Italian in accessible format, with a wide variety of offer: classics, best sellers, literary prizes and children books. The service is on line from June 2013 at The service is in progress (400 new titles each month): June 2013: titles of 44 publishers June 2014: titles of 65 publishers 8

9 LIA in the Value Chain of Digital Publishing 9

10 Lesson learned: collaboration and pro-active approach A shared effort is necessary, involving all the actors: Publishers Reading software developers Producers of e-readers and tablets Online stores and e-commerce platforms Electronic payment system 10

11 Results vs missing point ALREADY ACHIEVED RESULTS Blind and visually impaired readers will no longer have to find out the desired text: they have same books at the same time and price Accessibility has become part of the production workflow for all EPUBs of LIA publishers Growing number of titles representing the variety of the editorial market Accessible EPUB are better EPUBs for everybody Online bookshop awareness of accessibility requirements; Accessibility requirements implemented by online payment services. benefit for all purchases, not only for LIA ebook RESULTS TO BE ACHIEVED There is not yet a generalized fully accessible reading system for e-books Inclusion of metadata on accessibility in global online bookstore which use proprietary schemas is still missing 11

12 The LIA Model and infrastructure

13 LIA Model Back office LIA best practice guide for accessible ebooks: publishers produce ebooks taking in consideration the LIA s guidelines VCC service: verifies, converts and certifies the ebooks that publishers joining LIA provide for the catalogue of accessible ebooks LIA catalogue DB: stores complete bibliographic and accessibility information on LIA certified accessible ebooks and makes them available to other players in the supply chain Public interfac LIA shelf: where users can search, find and shop for accessible ebooks 13

14 The VCC Service: Validation, Conversion, Certification Validation LIA checklist is the tool to assess in detail the accessibility features related to the internal structure of the epub file 38 accessibility parameters in the assessment that can assume 4 different values (not checked not appliable positive negative) ONIX 3.0 accessibility features values (list 196) are algorithmically generated according to LIA business rules high level of granularity and configurability according to templates 14

15 The VCC Service: Validation, Conversion, Certification Conversion LIA conversion services connected to the infrastructure can be used by publishers to convert their epub file according to LIA assessment and recommendations Publishers who have inhouse expertise or an established business relation with their own conversion service can convert on their own their epub file according to LIA assessment and recommendations 15

16 The VCC Service: Validation, Conversion, Certification Certification Ebooks that pass LIA validation according to the parameters assessed through the LIA checklist are assigned with an accessibility certification (LIA label) The VCC conveys the LIA label to the LIA catalogue along with the accessibility metadata of the certified file The label is a visual certificate that the title is LIA compliant When LIA label is clicked, the user is re-directed to LIA controlled web page displaying accessibility information on the title, using ISBN-A technology 16

17 The LIA catalogue DB: metadata management Metadata management In LIA catalogue DB accessibility metadata in ONIX 3.0 format from the VCC are merged with title information from E-Kitab (the BIP of Italian ebooks) LIA Catalogue conveys information on ebook accessibility all along the publishing chain, namely: to the site of Italian accessible books (www.libriitalianiaccessibili.it), where the ebook becomes immediately available. to E-Kitab (the BIP of Italian ebooks) E-Kitab conveys the LIA label to all the Italian platforms and stores The LIA label will be displayed by all the stores participating in the project and in perspective also by all other stores 17

18 The distribution: online bookstore and lending platform 18

19 How to read LIA e-books? A LIA ebook can be read using personal computers, smartphones, tablets and in different ways (Braille display, Enlarged characters, TTS vocal synthesis) BUT to date there is neither a device nor a reading software/application totally accessible to blind and partially sighted LIA has carried out a steady monitoring of the accessibility level of the most popular ereaders, smartphones, tablets and of the main reading software and applications that have progressively been marketed in Italy during the life span of the project. This activity has allowed to identify which are, to date, the devices and reading software/applications that offer a reading experience accessible and usable also for blind and partially sighted readers select a limited number of devices and reading software/applications that best suit the accessibility and usability needs of users with visual impairments 19

20 soloepub: accessibile reading solution In order to offer an accessibile reading solution for blind and VI users, in collaboration with the Institute for the Blind «F. Cavazza» and the Italian software house MDV, LIA has developed soloepub, an accessible reading app for ios and an accessible reading software for Windows (in Italian) soloepub is accessible and interoperable with the main assistive software used by blind and VI users. soloepub manages ebooks with social DRM The app is downloadable from the App Store for free The software is downloadable from for free. 20

21 TISP Technology Innovation for Smart Publishing TISP is the European thematic network aiming to foster the dialogue betweenpublishers and ICT companies. By involving stakeholders from two different worlds, TISP offers a real room for exchange about innovation, where supply and demand match to support the creation of new products and services. TISP organizes a rich calendar of professional meetings and workshops held in major ICT and publishing fairs and international conferences throughout Europe. TISP publishes the Smart Book, a hub for updated contents and in-depth analysis on hot topics for technological innovation in publishing, surveys, studies and business cases.

22 Accessibility on the TISP Smart Book

23 Linkedin Group: TISP Technlogy Innovation for Smart Publishing

24 Fondazione LIA Sede: Corso di Porta Romana, Milano Tel Fax

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