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Case Study 7.6: Virginia Tech Publishing—An OER Publisher Workflow

Robert Browder, Digital Publishing Specialist at Virginia Tech Publishing, described a workflow his unit uses to evaluate accessibility of submissions to Pressbooks. Browder explained a typical scenario: Students in an undergraduate seminar each write papers for a capstone project. They submit these papers in Pressbooks, which provides an easy interface for editing and arranging submissions.


Once the capstone project has been completed, Browder exports an EPUB copy of the full ebook. Browder noted that this step makes sense because Virginia Tech has increasingly turned its focus to disseminating EPUBs, a document type that often plays well with screen readers. As a result, at this point in the publication process, Browder runs an accessibility check on the EPUB using the Ace by DAISY App.


For those who have not used Ace, Browder explained that this application runs on a JavaScript package called node.js. The application can be launched from command line as Browder shows in the following screenshots.


Ace by DAISY in command line
Ace by DAISY accessibility report

Once Ace has been launched, the application generates an accessibility report that spells out overall violations, metadata issues, structuring problems, and image attributes. The following image shows details from an accessibility report generated for the Foundations of Hip-Hop Encyclopedia.


Sample Ace accessibility report


After running this report, Browder and his team make appropriate changes to the Pressbooks instance—sometimes after consulting with the student or faculty creators. Browder noted that this workflow works especially well in a distributed team environment that may include faculty, staff, and students.


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Case Study 7.6: Virginia Tech Publishing—An OER Publisher Workflow by Talea Anderson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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