Princeton University Press signs accessible publishing charters

Signatures are the latest steps in ongoing work to improve the accessibility of PUP’s published materials, expanding on the Press’ commitment to equity, inclusivity, and belonging

Princeton University Press is committed to the highest standards of equity, inclusivity, and diversity across our global publishing. Inherent to this is ensuring our materials are accessible to readers with and without print disabilities. To this end, we are proud to have signed two charters—both sponsored by European organizations but applicable globally to PUP’s publishing—that guide accessible publishing pathways in critical ways.

As a signatory to the Publishing Accessibility Action Group’s (PAAG) charter, PUP commits to eleven measures, including staff education and awareness-raising; the incorporation of accessibility features in digital publications and platforms; and utilizing accessibility metadata opportunities. The UK-based PAAG aims to “to embed accessible practices throughout the publishing ecosystem.” Their full charter can be read here.

APC charter logo

The Accessible Books Consortium’s Charter for Accessible Publishing commits publishers such as PUP to seven measures, including promoting the adoption of accessibility standards throughout the supply chain and supporting national and international collaboration with organisations representing readers with print disabilities. The Consortium, headquartered in Geneva, “promotes the production of e-books and other digital publications in accessible formats such as braille, audio or large print for persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled.” Their full charter can be read here.

ABC charter

Steering and inspiring the evolution of PUP’s accessible publishing is PUP’s Accessibility Working Group, led by Cathy Felgar, Director of Publishing Operations, and Kimberley Williams, Co-Head of PUP Europe and Digital and Audio Publisher. Comprised of sub-groups focused on digital content and alt-text, website accessibility, and employee experience, the group coheres around a goal of ensuring PUP content, collaborations, operations, and policies, are available to all.

Work to date has focused on both internal communications and reader engagement, including the publication of more than 400 fully accessible ebook editions. In both new publications and through ongoing intervention in long-life intellectual property, both individual titles and series, PUP aims for published work to meet a number of principles: clear structure and reading order and semantic tagging for logical navigation; color, when used for printing, that is high contrast; MathML, readable by assistive technology, for any equations; non-English passages tagged for proper screen reader pronunciation; alt text for images and accessibility information included in metadata.

As outlined in the Press’s Accessibility Policy, the standards and specifications for our accessible publishing are defined by W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 and are in compliance with regulations set by the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), European Accessibility Act (EAA), which enters in force June 2025; and Section 508 of the US Rehabilitation Act. Read the full policy here.

Our commitment to improving accessibility and ensuring our books reach and engage the widest audiences possible remains in continual motion. Forward-facing plans incorporate active engagement with our peer presses. Kimberly Williams will present on accessible publishing at the 2024 University Press Redux meeting and during the Association of University Presses annual meeting, Cathy Felgar will chair a panel on accessible publishing workflows. PUP also intends to provide accessibility metadata to online vendor partners, by July 2024. Attention remains ongoing to the incorporation of accessibility features in our published materials. As we strive to foster reading experiences that are as inclusive and engaging as possible, we welcome feedback at