The Journey to eBook Accessibility: 28th June 2025

James MacFarlane and Michael Johnson

June 28, 2024




Written By
James MacFarlane and Michael Johnson

28th June 2025 has been on the minds of many book industry professionals for several years. But now, with just over a year until the legal enforcement of the European Accessibility Act (EAA) – the long-awaited mandate for accessible digital content – many are wondering if enough progress has been made.

Since Easypress’ initial blog in April 2023, Accessibility in Publishing, larger book publishers have been working hard behind the scenes to ensure they are ready for the EAA. With organisations such as The Daisy Consortium and Benetech continuing to promote accessibility ahead of the mid-2025 deadline, many publishers have already started to follow suit.  

From the Accessible Books Consortium’s charter to the Publishing Accessibility Action Group’s allies, publishers of all sizes are pledging their support for a more inclusive future.  

However, with Benetech’s Global Certified Accessible (GCA) suite of services being the first ever independent third-party digital accessibility certification and approval program, there is plenty of scope for publishers to up their game.  

As Michael Johnson, Vice President of Content at Benetech, recently said:

The reality is that a fully accessible eBook is a better eBook – it’s a better reading experience for all readers. It’s easier for buyers to discover the eBook. And including the 20+% of buyers with print disabilities creates better market opportunities.

With the continued refining of accessibility tools, such as The Daisy Consortium’s Ace Checker, and the latest updates to InDesign’s EPUB export of accessible features, the industry is becoming more aware of the need to adapt.

In February 2024, Inclusive Publishing reported that “the key to moving the needle on accessibility in book publishing is to get editorial staff and freelancers invested in accessibility.”

The most effective method of adapting workflows to better cater for accessibility is to produce content that is ‘Born Accessible’, which involves editorial teams actively integrating accessibility features into their books at the manuscript stage. This alone will dramatically reduce the need for post-production amendments.

Although progress is being made within the publishing industry, barriers to accessibility remain. Perhaps the biggest obstacle to accessibility in the publishing industry is financial. Digital accessibility in publishing incurs upfront costs such as workflow changes, implementing new technology, training staff, and hiring accessibility experts when appropriate. Without appreciating the long-term advantages and return on investment, publishers may see these costs as a drawback.

However, publishers can minimise the need for expensive and time-consuming retroactive accessibility measures by incorporating digital accessibility from the start. Accessible content remains relevant for longer periods, enabling easy maintenance to meet new requirements, safeguarding content for the future. Getting things right the first time always saves money.

A lack of technical knowledge may also create significant barriers – digital accessibility often involves good coding, compatibility with assistive technologies, and compliance with accessibility standards. If publishers lack internal resources and expertise, they may face challenges in understanding when it comes to implementing these requirements. Moreover, integration of new tools into existing workflows has not always been seamless, with professionals all operating with varying levels of skill.

James Macfarlane, Easypress’ CEO, reflected:

By working closely with Benetech, Easypress hopes to introduce the first accessible eBook production platform to create compliant digital content, which will be recognised as Benetech GCA approved.

At Easypress, we offer a range of accessibility-related products and services designed to save our clients time and money. Our eBooks are compliant with EAA regulations, and we can offer advice about how to meet the new directives in all areas of book production. Moreover, our technology is designed to fit seamlessly into your existing workflows, causing minimal disruption.

To find out how the team at Easypress can help you and your content to meet the EAA deadline, get in touch via our contact page.



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