Purpose of Policy
Elsevier consistently and proactively endeavors to make our products fully accessible to all users, regardless of physical abilities. That commitment reflects the growing customer need for accessibility of our books and online products, and our focus on customers, innovation and partnership with the science and health communities we serve. We will leverage our strengths in the creative use of available technology. We will advance and lead best practices and always adhere to applicable law and international standards.
This policy will guide Elsevier efforts to:
- Help our customers achieve the maximum benefit, insight and understanding from our content, regardless of physical ability.
- Increase customer satisfaction and use of our products.
- Establish Elsevier as the partner of choice in this area in the scientific and health sectors.
- Encourage our authors to provide accessible content.
- Partner with external agencies and experts to enhance our knowledge base.
- Lead our industry in providing accessibility solutions, serving customers, and establishing best practices and international standards.
Scope of Policy
This is an Elsevier policy and is aimed at all Elsevier companies; it does not include Reed Elsevier companies. The policy includes, but is not limited to, the following areas:
- Elsevier products
- eBooks (Kindle, Nook, etc.)
- Audio, video
- Mobile apps for devices such as iPads, iPhones, PDAs.
- Elsevier partners
- Third-party providers (online libraries, eBook readers, etc.)
- Suppliers, vendors
- Elsevier internal tools, Web sites, systems such as
- Non Solus
- Authoring and editorial tools, including but not limited to
- the Production Tracking System (PTS)
- the Product Planning and Management system (PPM)
- the Elsevier Editorial System (EES)
- the Electronic Manuscript Submission System (EMSS)
1. When feasible, Elsevier products and internal sites will adhere to level A of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0).
Products should be:
- Perceivable: Available to be seen or heard through assistive technologies
- Operable: Available to all users through any available device and/or assistive technologies
- Understandable: Content clearly seen or heard through any available technology or device
- Robust: Content accessible via many types of technologies, assistive or otherwise
2. Elsevier will strive to improve access to information by all users, including people with disabilities or impairments, by following User Centered Design (UCD) best practices.
UCD best practices include understanding users, designing around their needs, and evaluating via usability testing.
3. An Elsevier accessibility policy statement will be readily available on all internal and external Web sites, along with contact information regarding accessibility issues.
Elsevier is committed to making this Web site accessible to all individuals. We strive to adhere to the Section 508 Guidelines for Web. We also strive to meet the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Version 2.0. For more information on Elsevier’s accessibility features or to report difficulty accessing this site, please contact us.
Each product may have an additional statement outlining its level of compliance with the guidelines established in this policy.
4. All Elsevier electronic products (Web, PDA, eBook, etc.) will be audited for accessibility within a reasonable period.
While each business unit must determine an appropriate period, we suggest that all major products be audited within a 3-year period. As much as possible, audits should coincide with release schedules.
5. Elsevier will track the progress of product accessibility on a dedicated dashboard on the UCD Web site.
The dashboard will track such things as the number of sites audited, new sites being developed with UCD input, and the number of alternate formats provided. The specifics of the dashboard will be addressed in the implementation plan.
6. Elsevier will promote the awareness of accessibility issues by recognizing and rewarding product teams who have embraced the Policy in their work.
An important part of the Policy is that we celebrate our successes. We will have much to be proud of as we implement the Policy.
7. Elsevier will promote the use of new technologies and standards that increase the accessibility of our products.
There are many examples of recent technological advances that have improved the accessibility of our products: tagged PDFs, enabling text-to-speech on the Kindle, and ePUB files are some of the most important. Thanks to our XML-first workflow, Elsevier is in a good position to take advantage of new technologies, such as the ePUB3 format. Central Application Management (CAM) should take the lead on this and should have a designated accessibility champion. When CAM looks to adopt new standards or practices, accessibility benefits should be considered and highlighted as part of the overall business benefits of a technology shift or use. The Enterprise Architecture group should also integrate accessible best practices into their own standards.
8. All new print products will be available in an electronic format for use by authorized disability service providers.
The formats may include any one of the following: ePUB, PDF, HTML, Word. Elsevier will continue to work with trusted partners for distributing files to disability service providers.
9. Elsevier prefers to work with vendors and partners who adhere to the highest accessibility standards.
With its purchasing power, Elsevier wields great influence. We should promote the adoption of common accessibility standards by our vendors and partners within the Reed Elsevier Supplier Code of Conduct.
10. Elsevier demonstrates its commitment to accessibility issues through our executive-level accessibility champion, Alicia Wise, Director of Universal Access. In addition, Elsevier will assign a group of front-line Accessibility Champions to oversee all products. The Director of Universal Access will review this policy at least every two years.
While addressing accessibility issues needs to come from all levels of the company, the overall policy is best served by having a single member of the senior management team champion accessibility across the entire company. The front-line champions will be responsible for formulating a product accessibility strategy, establishing compliance targets, and ensuring adherence to UCD best practices. This should be a part of the project proposal.
11. This policy will be implemented through normal budget and planning procedures from 2013 onwards. We encourage best efforts to comply with the policy in 2012.
Many of our high-revenue, customer-facing products could benefit from an accessibility audit, especially since many customers now require compliance information as part of Request for Proposals and renewals. There are many business advantages to having accessible products. We recommend that business units without a development plan start with product audits.