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Springer signs agreement with Bookshare

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Springer has signed an agreement to provide Bookshare, which provides people with visual impairments, physical disabilities and/or learning disabilities access to copyrighted digital accessible books, with world rights to its titles.

Springer published more than 7,500 book titles in 2012. It says it is is the first major STM publisher to commit to making its books accessible at this scale.

By contributing digital files directly to Bookshare, students with disabilities to receive accessible books in a timely fashion and the cost of making these books available is reduced significantly.

Providing STM content in accessible formats is particularly difficult due to the highly graphical nature of the content. Digital files will be created in the EPUB2 file format, which can be converted to specialised accessible formats. As a result of this agreement, Springer says it will deliver over 10,000 EPUB files to Bookshare, followed by thousands of new titles annually.

'We are proud to be the first STM publishers to be part of this initiative, which ensures that an even larger group of users will be able to access our content in an appropriate format, and hope that many more publishers will join this deserving cause,' said Peter Hendriks, Springer’s president of STM global publishing and marketing.