How is SAGE Publishing making academic books accessible?

As part of our Academic Book Week themed SAGE Connection/ Insight, we’ve spoken to Huw Alexander, Digital Sales Manager at SAGE to find out what SAGE is doing to make our academic books accessible to meet the diverse needs of our customers:


Huw Alexander

What does accessible content mean to SAGE?

SAGE is dedicated to meeting our customers’ needs and offering them choice in how they consume our content. We believe in creating a level playing field by ensuring that our publishing is accessible to all and to this end we have been engaged in a number of projects to promote accessibility.

SAGE’s vision centres on playing a creative role in society by disseminating teaching and research on a global scale. We listen carefully to the needs our readers to ensure that we can disable barriers to learning and promote positive social involvement. The provision of accessible content is central to our mission and SAGE’s early decision to embrace accessibility is the foundation of our successful eBook programme. Accessibility is not a secondary concern; it drives and shapes our decision-making.

How has SAGE risen to the challenge of making content accessible?

SAGE now have over 10,000 titles available in accessible formats and all content  is available in digital format upon publication ensuring simultaneous access for all. It is SAGE policy for accessible content requests to be dealt with as a priority and to provide a free digitisation service for any content that is not accessible. The number of accessibility requests processed by SAGE has grown significantly in recent years and in 2016 over 10,000 requests for SAGE content were swiftly processed either directly or through our close partnerships with Bookshare, RNIB Bookshare and AccessText.

Additionally, to meet the diverse needs of our customers and colleagues SAGE launched our Accessibility Working Group in 2016. This cross-departmental, global team champions accessibility policies across all our products and supports our staff in identifying and addressing the needs of our customers and partners.

What has accessible content meant for SAGE’s publishing?

Through publications such as British Journal of Visual Impairment,  The SAGE Handbook of Dyslexia, Disabling Barriers – Enabling Environments and the newly published Disability Studies, SAGE promotes inclusion and literacy.

In 2016 we also published the third edition of our bestselling title, Study Skills in Dyslexia. Working closely with the author we have designed a suite of resources and tools for dyslexic students including a fully editable eBook and our first ever audiobook in partnership with Listening Books.

Find out more about accessibility at SAGE here.abw2

This post is part of SAGE Publishing’s Academic Book Week themed SAGE Connection/ Insight, challenging preconceptions about the role, value and modern day use of textbooks. Check out all our content here.

Follow the hashtag #AcBookWeek to keep up with all the activities throughout the week!

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