iBooks Author: How to make your books accessible

When you create books in iBooks Author, use these guidelines to make your books accessible to the visually-impaired.

iBooks Author includes an Accessibility Description in the Widget inspector. Use this to include descriptions of images and objects to be read by VoiceOver when users view the book in iBooks on an iPad or in OS X Mavericks.

Add a description:

  1. Open the Widget inspector by choosing View > Show Inspector.
  2. Select an item.
  3. Click the Widget inspector icon.

    Accessibility Description field in the Widget inspector

  4. Enter your description in the Accessibility Description field.

Use these guidelines to make your iBooks Author book as accessible as possible:

  • Always provide accessibility descriptions for any images in the book, including background images.
  • When you create a widget that has elements that aren't described with text, provide accessibility descriptions for each of those elements. For example:
    • Provide an accessibility description for each picture in a Gallery widget.
    • Provide an accessibility description for each picture in Review widgets, as well as for answers in Review widgets for "Drag Label to Target" and "Drag Thumbnail to Target" questions.
  • In the Review widget, make sure that you use accessibility descriptions that don't reveal the answer to the question.
  • Avoid embedding text in images. If you do embed text, make sure to include that text in the accessibility description.
  • Make content in HTML5 widgets accessible using WAI-ARIA. More information about WAI-ARIA is at these websites:
  • Always include a basic description of a figure next to the figure number.
  • When including Math equations, it is best to use MathML and insert the Equation via the Insert menu. If you didn't use MathML, add an accessibility description for each equation or mathematical expression.

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