Updates and activities

eBook Accessibility Audit Team wins National Acquisitions Group (NAG) Award for Excellence

posted 22 Nov 2017, 07:41 by Ebook Audit Team

The eBook Accessibility Audit team were delighted to be awarded the 2017 NAG Award for Excellence at the NAG Conference on 6th November 2017. More information about the award (and a photo of 3 of the team members with the trophy!) is available on the NAG website, and there is also a link to the full press release.

Three representatives of the team - Gopal Dutta, Sue Smith and Vicky Dobson, also presented a workshop about eBook accessibility on both days of the NAG Conference. The workshop outlined what makes an eBook accessible and gave an overview of the eBook Accessibility Audit project. This was followed by a practical activity during which delegates assessed three key accessibility criteria for an eBook of their choice. The workshop concluded with feedback and discussion of the findings from the activity, and an outline of the project team’s future plans for improving eBook accessibility. The presentation is available in the Leeds Beckett University Repository.

E-book Accessibility Audit 2016 promotion

posted 18 Apr 2017, 04:05 by Ebook Audit Team   [ updated 11 Aug 2017, 04:12 ]

To raise awareness and increase the impact of the Audit, the project team is taking lots of opportunities to get the word out to the library and accessibility world. This impact document lists some of the presentations, conferences and meetings the team is involved in, as well as awards the Audit has been nominated for, and written publicity such as journal articles that has been published.

Use and abuse of audit data

posted 8 Feb 2017, 02:23 by Ebook Audit Team   [ updated 8 Feb 2017, 02:26 ]

The audit is beginning to take on a life of its own as library staff, publishers and aggregators alike explore the stories that the data tells. 

This is where we need users to understand that storytelling is a subjective art, especially with crowd sourced data and sampling schemes over which we had no control. It's not that the stories are not to be believed, it's more that people need to be aware of the POINT of the story. 

For example, in the Parable of the Lost Sheep or the story of Mullah Nasruddin's Donkey the precise number of sheep/donkeys is NOT the point of the stories. But the numbers give the scale and scope that allow the real messages of the stories to come alive. 

So, too, with statistical data on e-book accessibility. The precise numbers or the precise rankings are not the point of the audit. The point of the audit is the conversations that can now take place because a number or rank is available. 

Alistair McNaught's blog post on The e-book accessibility audit – use and abuse provides some helpful pointers on using the audit to promote productive changes to support disabled learners.

E-book audit shortlisted for international award

posted 8 Feb 2017, 02:01 by Ebook Audit Team   [ updated 8 Feb 2017, 02:02 ]

It's official - we're now shortlisted for the Accessible Books Consortium’s 2017 International Excellence Award!

It was a bit of a contortion to fit the criteria; all other nominees are named organisations, charities or sponsored projects. Ours seems to have been the first 'raggle taggle group of friendly activists' whose only thing in common was a conviction that ordinary people could work together to achieve extraordinary results. 

Jisc is on the form as the lead organisation simply because Jisc was the one partner whose 'raison d' etre' was to be the glue in sector initiatives. It's very clear in the submission - and will be clear in subsequent marketing - that this is a story about everyone. The whole is bigger than the sum of its parts.

In addition to the small core of people who drove the project from the middle we're all indebted to the fantastic responses across 33 different university libraries as well as the brilliant critical friend support from publishers and some platform providers.

Askews and Holts use audit to clarify accessibility guidance

posted 9 Dec 2016, 01:17 by Ebook Audit Team   [ updated 9 Dec 2016, 05:30 ]

Askews and Holts, who run the e-book platform "VLeBooks", have recently issued an Accessibility summary document which draws upon the questions asked in the audit process.

The document can be downloaded below.

Jaqui Holborn, Customer Care Director at Askews and Holts said:

“Askews and Holts have been pleased to use the audit as an opportunity to clarify our accessibility guidance for customers.” 

Invitations to speak

posted 29 Nov 2016, 09:31 by Ebook Audit Team

There seems to be a lot of interest generated already - Customer Services UK group had already heard about the audit at their recent meeting. 
Today we've had invites to speak at a Library Teachmeet at Staffordshire University and a UKSG webinar.

If you are interested in us contributing to an event email us at ebookaudithelp@gmail.com.

Responding to feedback

posted 28 Nov 2016, 03:10 by Ebook Audit Team

Some useful early feedback from accessibility testers. Google sites isn't ideal for accessibility but this is a simple text-focused website holding the narrative round the ebook audit. Despite the weaknesses in terms of technical standards there didn't seem to be any insuperable barriers, given sufficient guidance.

We felt that a decent accessibility statement could achieve the balance between 
  1. needing a free tool that.. 
  2. all the project group can access (to avoid information bottlenecks) and
  3. providing enough guidance to make the best of the site's accessibility and mitigate problems by alerting users to potential issues.
This has now been added in the 'Using this site' section.

Soft launch to partners and friends

posted 17 Nov 2016, 04:40 by Ebook Audit Team

Late last night we 'soft launched' the site and the Beta Lite version of the spreadsheet data. We're using the rest of the week to check for typos, errors or omissions then launch into the big wide world on Monday 21st November.

It's amazing how so much has been achieved from the initial conversations back in early summer. Congratulations to all involved from the humblest tester to the most sophisticated and articulate critical friends... and the core of people in the middle who wove the threads together. I salute you all! 

Final tweaks on Beta Lite

posted 16 Nov 2016, 04:08 by Ebook Audit Team

Jamie Phillips did a great job over the weekend. The Beta Lite version is almost ready to go - just checking an inconsistency in the interactive graphic then we'll be ready to go.

Doing a final check on the audit data we realise that despite our efforts to get a minimum of two audits per platform some of the original 'pairings' of institutions didn't manage to complete so we're left with a number of single-audit platforms and publishers. 

We'll tackle this by inviting the publishers themselves to add an audit - the Google form survey is still open

Beta 'Lite' version

posted 14 Nov 2016, 06:36 by Ebook Audit Team   [ updated 14 Nov 2016, 06:36 ]

Alistair met online with the Leeds Beckett folk on Friday 11th - decided to create two versions 
1) a Lite version that has minimal functionality but is easy to understand and works quickly and 
2) a full version that is for people who require further functionality and are happy to wait a little while the recalculations take place. 

We'll also get the Publisher reports available as PDF on the website so we can then strip out the automated report generating tabs and reduce the processing burden a bit.

For both versions we intend to do a user guide on the website to explain how to get the most from the data. I'll also create a case study of 'using the information in context'. 

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