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UK Publishing Accessibility Action Group (PAAG)

We make accessibility happen

PAAG brings together stakeholders and decision makers from across the publishing ecosystem, from content creators, designers and publishers to platforms, vendors, tool providers, distributors, end-users and readers with lived experience. Via the UK Publishers Association, we provide a forum for these related voices to discuss the key issues around making accessibility happen, with a focus on real, practical, achievable goals that make a real difference to improving access to published works.

This website brings together resources, education, contacts and other useful documents to help all of those involved progress the accessibility programmes in their organisations. To learn more about our mission and how you can become involved please visit About PAAG.

What is accessible publishing?

The goal of accessible publishing is to facilitate readers of all abilities to access the same content with equal ease and without problematic boundaries. This can only be fully realised by small and big decisions at every stage of the publishing process, from the spark of an idea to the end consumer of a work. PAAG aims to help everyone concerned to know where these decisions need to be made, and to think about best practices and what fits for a given organisation.

Producing truly accessible content brings a myriad of benefits to both publishers and consumers, as discussed in our page on making a business case. Accessible content leverages the inherent, unique advantages of digital formats, including semantics, navigation and enriched and discoverable metadata, to create publications which are not only accessible but also future-proof and transformable, opening up better access for new customers, now and in the future.

Accessibility is a core part of inclusivity, ensuring that everyone can access information and be a part of the cultural discussion. You can learn more about this concept at InclusivePublishing.org where the broader concepts as well as practical implications are discussed.

UK accessible publishing survey

PAAG ran a survey across the publishing ecosystem in spring of 2022. The results gave important insight into the current state of accessibility in the UK publishing world, as well as the state of readiness and planning for the regulatory and technical changes coming down the line.

A number of important insights emerged, as well as more clarity on the hurdles and requirements from the industry to really progress this mission. Overall PAAG observed an industry that was still mainly in the early stages of its accessibility journey, with only a minority of respondents having progressed beyond the initial planning stages and a very small fraction reporting accessibility practices as fully operational. Over 80% of respondents were strongly motivated to make progress due to legal changes, and respondents showed a strong desire for the availability of further online training resources on accessibility topics.

Full results and analysis are available for you to understand more about accessible publishing in the UK PAAG Accessibility Survey 2022 (docx).