Over a year ago I reported on the "DOJ and ADA Mandate Ebook Readers Be Accessible to All" and the problems this posed to the ereader industry in a news feature for Information Today's NewsBreaks
At the May BookExpo America, EPUB3 was announced, which will make it possible for true accessibility for ebooks on any platform. EPUB is the industry standard that guarantees "a distribution and interchange format standard for digital publications and documents. EPUB defines a means of representing, packaging and encoding structured and semantically enhanced Web content -- including HTML5, CSS, SVG, images, and other resources -- for distribution in a single-file format."
With the May 2011 release of EPUB 3, we can hopefully expect to see more innovative, born-digital "enhanced ebooks" in the coming years. In the words of George Kerscher representing the DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) Consortium, EPUB 3 "fills gaps missing in previous versions" of the standard and gives hope that the two standards may eventually be merged in the future. "Every digital book will be an accessible book now," notes Kerscher.
Great news for us all!