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 have worked with accessibility and inclusive design experts at OCAD University’s Inclusive Design Research Centre and others to identify areas for improvement.
In 2019, we published our first Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) for the Pressbooks authoring interface, along with several interface improvements to bring us into compliance with WCAG 2.0 at the A and AA level. We are also committed to ensuring that all new or updated code released in Pressbooks will conform with the WCAG 2.0 at level AA. In addition, we have a variety of development goals to improve the accessibility and inclusivity of Pressbooks as a publishing tool and the accessibility of books produced with Pressbooks.
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 following development of WordPress’ new block editing interface, as well as several conversations about its accessibility, and will be waiting to integrate Gutenberg with Pressbooks until the accessibility issues raised in its audit have been resolved.