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Spelman Professor Formulates Guidelines to Help Publishers Produce Accessible Books

November 2015

priceSpelman College associate professor of English, Margaret Price, Ph.D., and renowned disability studies scholars Drs. Jay Dolmage, Melissa Helquist and Lennard J. Davis, have created guidelines  that promote universal design in publishing and encourage publishers to produce digital books that anyone, regardless of disability, can read.

Several scholarly associations, including disability studies organizations in the U.S. and Canada, have endorsed the guidelines. The group recently received its first university press endorsement of the guidelines, "a one-page template letter that clarifies what makes a book accessible with a set of guidelines that authors can use to help publishers make their books readable by anyone," when the University of Michigan Press gave its full stamp of approval.

According to an article by Carl Straumsheim, "All new ebooks published by the university press currently follow the new guidelines, and the publisher is also “working backwards” to ensure previously published books get the same treatment when they are made available as ebooks."

At Spelman, Dr. Price teaches rhetoric, composition and creative nonfiction. Her areas of specialization include disability studies, qualitative research methodologies, and digital accessibility. She is also the interim director of the College's Comprehensive Writing Program.

Dr. Price’s book, Mad at School: Rhetorics of Mental Disability and Academic Life (University of Michigan Press) won the 2013 Outstanding Book Award from the Conference of College Composition and Communication.

Read more about Dr. Price's work and the accessibility guidelines