In the final of our series of interviews with the shortlisted nominees for the ABC Accessible Books Awards, Brazils Editorial 5 (ED5) tell us about their work.
You can also read our interviews with Ediciones Godot and Kogan Page.
IPA: Tell us a little about Editorial 5.
ED5: Editorial 5 (ED5), formerly e-DAISY, is a Brazilian company dedicated to the educational and accessibility field. ED5 was created in 2011 by Roberto Maluhy, Mika Mitsui and Mauricio Barreto to adapt and convert textbooks and paradidactic content to accessible formats. "Educate in every way" is their signature. The goal of ED5 is to offer the market solutions for converting printed textbooks or general commercial books into accessible formats, and to develop new solutions for educational content, taking into account all aspects of accessibility. ED5 produces books in EPUB3, DAISY, printed, audiobooks and Braille (digital and relief) formats.
ED5 is a member of DAISY and has signed the Inclusive Publishing ABC charter. In Brazil, Roberto Maluhy gives workshops and lectures on accessibility production in conferences and meetings of the publishing market (such as the accessibility workshops of the Brazilian Chamber of Books). On the political side, ED5 / Mauricio Barreto worked as a consultant for ABRELIVROS (Association of Textbook Publishers) in his negotiations for a Settlement Agreement with the Attorney General for Human Rights, helping to build a viable and fair settlement from the point of view of production. ED5 is also involved in the development of new processes to expand digital braille production and braille embossing. ED5 has worked with consultant Pedro Milliet to raise awareness of international developments in accessibility solutions in Brazil, bringing the latest technology and best practices.
Currently ED5 offers content of its own and from other publishers in accessible formats, collaborating with the market in order to comply with the law and benefit the entire inclusion community in Brazil.
IPA: What does it mean to be a finalist for the Accessible Books Consortium Excellence Award?
ED5: The award nomination made the company proud of the recognition of the work developed, but also brings greater social responsibilities.
IPA: What made you decide to work with accessibility?
Since 2010, the National Textbooks Program from the Ministry of Education requires that all textbooks must be converted to accessible format by the participant publishers. It has created a significant demand of accessible books production. Furthermore, the Law of Inclusion, in force in Brazil since 2015, requires that any book requested by a customer with visual impairment be sold to that person for the same price and in a reasonable time, which opened the opportunity for new demands in the publishing market. Another important opportunity came in the Brazilian educational publishing market in 2018, when the government announced the requirement for book publishers to produce all textbooks from the National Textbooks Program in Braille as well.
ED5 believes that it is a fundamental human right for all people to have the same opportunity to access knowledge, education, culture and entertainment. ED5 considers this a core action to promote the autonomy and social development of individuals. On the other hand, it is a new step forward for the market, which will offer print disabled persons not only books converted by not-for-profit institutions but also all titles needed and desired by that community. Inclusion is required by basic human rights to promote social equity in the marketplace and to develop a healthy and fairer society. Helping other publishers understand this social obligation and the opportunities for the marketplace is fundamental to motivate them.
IPA: What did you do to make your books more accessible?
ED5: In addition to producing accessible versions of own and third-party books, ED5 also actively participates in accessibility developments, whether through technological, political or market action. Hiring print disabled persons, training our staff and creating software applications to automate processes are also a key points in our work.
IPA: Are there any misconceptions about how to approach accessibility issues?
ED5: There are and we realize that they can be overcome in the direct coexistence with people with disabilities. It is also perceived that the direct work with accessibility challenges that the adaptation and production of materials require, gives our employees a new perception and greater sensitivity to accessibility issues outside the company.
IPA: Is there any plan related to accessibility for the future?
ED5: ED5 is developing processes to produce Sign Language books and Universal Design textbooks. There are also investments in the increment of other educational accessibility technologies - such as EDUPUB, and accessible educational tools for the teaching of Mathematics. The goal is to develop books and educational resources that are increasingly universally inclusive.
Establish accessibility as a common feature in book production so that anyone in need of this content can buy it in any bookstore for the same price and at the same time of other formats offered to other readers. The goal is to develop more productive and large-scale processes that can help the market and institutions to end the hunger for knowledge and to engage in "born-accessible" production. It is clear that the distribution side is also central to accessibility; thus helping publishers, bookstores, and libraries to include the right metadata and understand the needs of print disabled customers for website accessibility, are essential actions to achieve that goal. As the largest producer of accessible books in Latin America, ED5 wants to help other Latin American countries replicate and refine their methods to make content "accessible", a constant concern in these markets.
IPA: Is there any specific experience you would like to share or do you have any messages to other editors?
ED5: We have learned that the production of accessible materials requires a lot of manual labor and individual efforts. The institutions that work in this segment (of inclusion and accessibility) are quite reserved and produce their resources, in general, in a restricted and limited way. There is also a certain rejection of these institutions, mostly philanthropic, in accepting the performance of market institutions in this sector.
We understand that people with disabilities represent an audience with great market potential. People with visual impairment, for example, read up to eight times more than the average sighted people, according to the National Health Survey of 2013. Thus, nothing is more fair to this historically neglected population.