Pressbooks is committed to ensuring that our software is accessible to users and readers. We understand accessibility and inclusive design to be holistic, proactive processes that must be built into our product specification and development workflow. We also recognize that as a publishing tool, we have an opportunity to facilitate the production of accessible content. With this in mind, we are working with accessibility and inclusive design experts at OCAD University’s Inclusive Design Research Centre and others to identify areas for improvement.

Because Pressbooks is built on WordPress, we benefit from the WordPress project’s own Accessibility Coding Standards, which require that “All new or updated code released in WordPress must conform with the [Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0] at level AA.” We have been closely following development of WordPress’ new block editing interface and accessibility concerns about it, and we will be waiting to integrate it with Pressbooks until we have seen the results of forthcoming accessibility audits.

We are also making the following commitments:

  1. All new or updated code released in Pressbooks will conform with the WCAG 2.0 at level AA.
  2. All custom Pressbooks user interface (UI) elements will be brought into compliance with the WCAG 2.0 at level AA within 2019.
  3. By the end of Q1 2019, Pressbooks intends to complete an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT).

WCAG 2.0 level AA compliance will help us meet the web accessibility standards of both the ADA and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

In addition to the above commitments, we have a variety of goals on our development roadmap which will improve the accessibility and inclusivity of Pressbooks as a publishing tool and will improve the accessibility of books produced with Pressbooks. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Providing accessibility feedback to authors within the Pressbooks interface to make it easier to create accessible content
  • Adding new tools for the creation of accessible embedded media, indices, and glossaries
  • Improving the semantics of Pressbooks’ outputs
  • Improving the base-level accessibility of our webbook reading interface
  • Adding User Interface Options to our webbook reading interface
  • Highlighting the accessibility status of books created with Pressbooks (both in metadata and in the webbook reading interface)
  • Formalizing accessibility testing as part of our development workflow
  • Ongoing documentation and evaluation of our compliance with WCAG 2.0 and other accessibility standards