Supporting Inclusive Digital Publishing through Training

Co-financed by Erasmus+ of the European Union.
Period: 09/2019 - 02/2022


The aim of the SIDPT strategic partnership is to promote the creation and distribution of barrier-free publications by providing practical training material for professionals working in the publishing sector. The learning materials are developed by the project partners BrailleNet (France), Dedicon (Netherlands) and the Johannes Kepler University Linz (Austria). The content will be available on an online platform, inclusive publishing in practice, in English, French, Dutch and German under an open license from the end of 2021.

Context and Background

According to the European Blind Union (EBU), there are an estimated 30 million blind and partially sighted people in geographical Europe, with an average of one in 30 Europeans suffering from vision loss. The average unemployment rate for blind and partially sighted people is over 75 percent. In addition, there are millions of people who are unable to use printed materials appropriately, including those with dyslexia and motor and cognitive disabilities. This group is called "print impaired".

According to the EBU, only 5% of the published works, such as books and teaching materials, are currently available in accessible formats. The switch to digital books and support has the potential to significantly improve read access for "print impaired". In recognition of this, the European Accessibility Act, which was passed in Parliament on March 13, 2019 and published in June 2019, ruled that all European publishers must make their digital books accessible.

The member states are now becoming aware of the challenges and opportunities that arise from integrative digital publishing. Some countries are starting to grapple with the issue of public policy and area lawyers, but even in the most mature environments, there is a lack of detailed educational material that is addressed to everyone in the publication chain. Publishers have problems recruiting specialists with the appropriate know-how who have a critical skills gap in this area and who have little specialist knowledge. Digital publishing is still in its early stages, so experts need to work together across borders to share knowledge and best practices and share them with current and future professionals working in the publishing field.


SIDPT's strategic partnership brings BrailleNet (France), Dedicon (Netherlands) and Johannes Kepler University Linz (Austria) together.


  • Build and streamline key accessibility skills and abilities that are currently lacking in jobs related to the production of digital publications from a variety of industries.
  • Increase and standardize the overall quality of digital content created in the new legal context, especially in preparation for the cross-border exchange of accessible digital publications.
  • Out of partnerships that support best practices in the contract system.
  • Raising awareness of the need for accessible digital publications.
  • Provide practical and effective learning materials for publishers and digital publication producers so that they can make content accessible and implement accessibility requirements in their workflows.
  • Increase the number and quality of titles and inclusive materials available to people with "print impairment".

Project Activities

The project partners design, develop and implement detailed learning materials and provide them to support publishers in the creation and provision of accessible publications. These will be available in four languages: English, French, Dutch and German. The results of the strategic partnership with SIDPT will be available online as an Open Education Resource (OER) and as part of a formal curriculum.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.



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