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Accessibility Search Tool Launched for Etextbooks

March 13, 2019
 
 

Digital content provider VitalSource is adding accessibility icons to its digital marketplace so that students and professors can more easily find accessible etextbooks.

Working with over 30 publishers over the past 18 months, VitalSource has so far identified more than 5,000 titles with accessibility features such as captions and alternative text.

Rick Johnson, vice president of product strategy at VitalSource, said that in future users may be able to search VitalSource’s whole catalog by their desired accessibility features. “This is a first attempt, and it’s going to get better,” he said in an interview.

“There shouldn’t be a separate place anyone has to go get their content -- it should be the same for everyone,” said Johnson. More and more publishers are making commitments to accessibility, meaning that over time all new content will be “born acceptable -- not have to be fixed later,” he said.

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