VitalSource Enhances E-textbook Accessibility Support With New Features

07-Jul-2014

Nashville, TN – VitalSource Technologies, Inc., Ingram Content Group’s leading e-textbook solution, showcased new features to its comprehensive accessibility support for its VitalSource Bookshelf® platform at the National Federation of the Blind National Convention, July 1-6, in Orlando, FL.

"As a result of rigorous, ongoing accessibility testing of the various Bookshelf platforms, Tech For All, Inc. can attest that a real asset of the VitalSource approach is its strong commitment to deliver an accessible, rich eBook reading experience which students with disabilities, like their peers, can access from home, in the classroom, and in a mobile environment," said Rick Bowes, Executive Consultant for Tech For All, Inc., a leading accessibility and universal design consulting firm.

VitalSource Technologies continues to work to support industry standards for accessibility by conducting conformance testing on all Bookshelf platforms – offline on Windows and Macs; online on Windows and Macs using standard browsers (e.g., Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Safari); and on mobile devices for iOS and Android. All Bookshelf platforms are evaluated using industry-leading screen reading programs available for the platform including JAWS and NVDA for Windows, VoiceOver for Mac and IOS, and TalkBack for Android. To ensure a comprehensive reading experience, all Bookshelf platforms have been evaluated using EPUB® and enhanced PDF books.

"Through VitalSource Bookshelf, we strive to provide the right accessibility features in e-textbooks that will enable people of all abilities to get the most out of an e-textbook experience and realize its full potential,” said Rick Johnson, Vice President Product and Sales Engineering, VitalSource Technologies, Inc. “We’ve been doing this for more than a decade, and we will continue to innovate and introduce new ways to enhance e-textbook accessibility.”

Because accessibility is a fundamental part of teaching and learning, VitalSource regularly collaborates with independent consultants and industry experts including the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), Tech For All, JISC, and others, to ensure the platform is tested in conformance with the section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.

Along with the client updates being released, VitalSource will provide an updated and independently-reviewed Voluntary Product Accessibility Template™ (VPAT) statement for each platform. The VPAT is an industry standard template used by suppliers to systematically document a product's conformance with the Section 508 accessibility standards. The Android, iOS, Browser, Macintosh, and Windows VPAT’s are available for download from www.vitalsource.com/508.

The VitalSource Bookshelf platform is the most used e-textbook delivery platform in higher education. VitalSource Technologies has more than 500,000 titles available in distribution encompassing content from more than 750 educational publishers. Content is available to VitalSource Bookshelf users, including those living with disabilities anytime, anywhere, and on a variety of operating systems and devices. For more information about VitalSource Technologies, visit www.vitalsource.com.

About Ingram
Ingram Content Group (“Ingram”) is comprised of several subsidiaries to Nashville-based Ingram Industries Inc. Ingram includes a comprehensive suite of publishing industry services companies that offers numerous solutions, including physical book distribution, print-on-demand and digital services. Committed to the success of its partners, Ingram works closely with publishers, retailers, libraries and schools around the world to provide them with the right products and services to help them succeed in the dynamic and increasingly complex world of content publishing. Ingram's operating units are Ingram Book Group LLC, Lightning Source LLC, VitalSource Technologies LLC, Ingram Periodicals LLC, Ingram International, Ingram Library Services LLC, Spring Arbor Distributors, Ingram Publisher Services LLC, Tennessee Book Company LLC, and ICG Ventures LLC.

About Tech For All
Tech For All is a leading independent accessibility consulting firm providing expert product evaluations for producers and purchasers of digital products, services and websites. For more information, visit www.TFAConsulting.com.