European Accessible Information Network (EUAIN)
The European Accessible Information Network (EUAIN) project was established in 2004 by Dedicon (Netherlands) when a core group of organizations involved in accessible content production came together on a European level to seek greater clarity and systematization for this field. During the project phase, EUAIN received funding from the European Commission.
The EUAIN Foundation has the aim of promoting e-Inclusion as a core horizontal building block in the Information Society. Thus, the existence of EUAIN is itself an example of how collaborative activity can improve understanding about the needs of print disabled people with respect to accessible material. It also explores copyright issues that might need to be addressed in order to achieve greater accessibility. The EUAIN project partners are committed to the provision of accessible information and include publishers, service providers and academic institutions.
EUAIN is active within the European Union promoting the “accessibility from scratch” philosophy, working together in this as trusted intermediary with the European Commission and the Federation of European Publishers.
EUAIN provides extensive resource for those concerned about accessible information on its web portal. For example, by advertising and promoting accessibility standards, EUAIN helps those developing information products to build accessibility for those with a print disability into the system right from the beginning, instead of the traditional approach of adding those features later. After being established as a separate entity, the EUAIN’s focus will be extended towards a practical framework in which the accessibility can be realized with a minimum effort form content providers and specialized libraries.
Amongst other things, EUAIN partners share their experiences to demonstrate how the aim of building in accessibility from the start has been met (or what problems have been encountered). Case studies available on the EUAIN Training and Resource Centre include:
- the simultaneous release in the UK of a popular work of fiction in normal print, large print, Braille, audio and digital talking book by collaboration between the United Kingdom RNIB, publishers and others;
- work by the Dutch Library for the Blind to convert 37 newspapers automatically to accessible XML formats, making them available at the same time if not before the printed editions;
- the Cairn project, set up by two French and two Belgian publishers, supported by others, to unify access to scientific journals in human and social sciences on the internet.
The case studies give detailed information about what is being done, including information about the accessible information processes used, the standards, software and so on.