Pressbooks VPAT Now Available

As if the newly designed website wasn’t enough, we’ve got even more good news to share. We hope you’ll agree that this year’s April showers really have brought May flowers!

At Pressbooks, we take accessibility seriously. About a year ago, we published our organization’s first official accessibility statement, in which we publicly committed to bringing all custom Pressbooks user interface elements into compliance with the WCAG 2.0 at level AA by the end of 2019 and completing a VPAT [Voluntary Product Accessibility Template] by the end of Q1 2019.

We’re pleased to announce that, thanks to support from eCampusOntario and the expert assistance of colleagues at OCAD University’s Inclusive Design Research Centre, we recently completed our first comprehensive accessibility audit of the Pressbooks authoring interface.

As with any audit, ours turned up some areas for improvement, some of which we inherited from WordPress and other upstream projects, and some of which were in our own code. Over the last two weeks, we dedicated themselves to remediating as many issues as we could and to filing tickets and bug reports upstream where appropriate.

We’re thrilled to share that as a result of that work, as of our latest release, Pressbooks 5.7.2, the Pressbooks authoring interface has achieved a ‘partially supports’ or better status for all relevant WCAG 2.0 criteria at both the A and AA levels! More details about our compliance with these criteria can be found in our VPAT.

We’re really pleased with this result, because it means that Pressbooks can be more easily used by a broader range of global users. At the same time, we acknowledge that accessibility is an ongoing commitment, and that this type of work is never “done.” We look forward to continue listening to our users, learning from experts and advocates in the field, and improving our product to ensure that we remove as many barriers to use as possible.

To that end, if you notice accessibility bugs or issues in our software, or have ideas you’d like to share with us about how we can Pressbooks easier to use for yourself or others, we invite you to share them with us in our Ideas forum on GitHub.

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