Textbooks for All: Universal Design EPUB3

While textbooks’ accessible versions for Visually Impaired students are already in place, and being used around the world, a large contingent of students with other disabilities struggle with the lack of accessible content.

Intellectually disabled, Deaf and Hard of Hearing, students with second language needs, especially in developing countries, are left apart without adapted content for their needs. The UNICEF Universal Design Accessible Textbook project proposes new solutions using EPUB3 standard, developing content adaptation guidelines and stimulating the creation of new production and reading tools.

The right to have a productive and autonomous life is the basis of a healthy society. To include this large community in the Educational process is not only to meet the demand for human rights, but also the key to increasing the quality of life of the whole society.

Adapted content for other disabilities than Visually Impaired is still a challenge, both in terms of guidelines and references available, and in using digital technology to enhance learning opportunities. Synchronized sign language, interactive simplified language, alternative second language content, together with audio narrated textbooks, are essential to this solution, and integrate them into the original textbook is our challenge. And we want you to participate!

Pedro Milliet

Pedro Milliet studied Psychology, Music and Philosophy. He has directed a music production studio for more than 20 years, composing and producing musical pieces for movies, TV, advertising and for the music industry. Specialist in musical computation, from 1993 to 1996 directed the Laboratory of Research in Sound Languages in the postgraduate course in Semiotics, at the Pontifical Catholic University in São Paulo. Then he set about creating Internet and multimedia applications.

His relationship with the field of accessibility comes from a 10-year relationship with his musician partner Sergio Sá, who was blind, between 1988 and 1998.

In 2006 he joined the Dorina Nowill Foundation for the Blind and developed an online system for producing accessible books in DAISY format and the first DAISY book reader in Portuguese (DDReader). Since then he has been entirely dedicated to this work, representing the Dorina Foundation on the DAISY Consortium Board and the ABC, Accessible Books Consortium. He is responsible for Information Architecture in his company Results Ltd., and works in International Relations for Dorina Nowill Foundation. He also participates in several international working groups dedicated to the development of accessible technology for digital book production and reading.