New European legislation will improve e-book accessibility, says FEP

New European legislation will improve e-book accessibility, says FEP

The Federation of European Publishers (FEP) has welcomed a European act of parliament created to make products and services more accessible, saying e-books will be covered by the provisions of the legislation.

The European Accessibility Act, passed by the European Parliament today (13th March), was created to try and remove and prevent any barriers in the market for accessible products, making it easier for businesses to create accessible products for elderly consumers or those with disabilities. The European Commission identified a number of sectors with divergent accessibility requirements across the EU and one of those was e-books.

The FEP said European publishers “welcome” the act and president Rudy Vanschoonbeek commented: “It is our responsibility as publishers, as ‘brokers’ of content, to make sure that the readers are as numerous and diverse as possible. To be able to offer access to the great books we publish, to everyone is a necessary objective.”

Publishers are now eager to discuss with the Commission how the features of the open industry standard ePub can work as a de-facto standard, and will explore how to inform people with disabilities about the accessibility of e-books, said the FEP.