The Pre-certification Process
Summary of what to expect from the eBound–Benetech pre-certification process.
SMART is a robust accessibility checking tool that tests content against a number of metrics to support making ebook content.
Before reading this, you might want to read:
The best way to test for accessibility in your books is to perform both automated and manual tests. This is because one compliments the other: automated tests are often limited in what they test but are thorough and reliable, while manual tests can be prone to human error but offer a better judge on quality and context. As a result, the GCA certification program uses both automated and manual testing tools.
The Simplified Manual Accessibility Reporting Tool (SMART) is an online accessibility reporting tool that guides a user through the manual testing process. Together with the automated Ace by DAISY tool, it offers the most complete method for accessibility conformance testing, and is the method used in the Global Certified Accessible (GCA) certification program. GCA certifiers have been trained by Benetech to use SMART consistently and completely.
Once the certifier has run the EPUB through EPUBCheck and Ace by DAISY, they will generate two reports from Ace by DAISY. In addition to generating an automated report in HTML format that summarizes the information from the EPUB, a file in the JSON format is also generated. The certifier will drop the JSON file into SMART, which will read the file and configure the manual testing according to the information provided from Ace.
SMART will then guide the certifier through a series of requirements that are organized into tabbed pages as follows:
The content of the report is customized to the kind of EPUB submitted and the elements it includes. You’ll notice in the SMART report that there are several Conformance success criterion, and if you have any books in your workflow that include the following elements, we strongly recommended to submit at least one to be evaluated in the certification program:
This way you’ll be able to see how the complex elements of the EPUB are presented in the SMART report, have examples to work from in your GCA technical report, and any questions can be worked through with your certifier.
It is important to review the SMART report alongside the GCA technical report and Ace by DAISY automated report once you’ve received them from your certifier and begin working on resolving the issues found in the EPUB. Seeing the conformance and born accessible scoring can be helpful in identifying the parts of your workflow that may need extra attention and adjustment when creating accessible EPUBs. If you have any questions about the contents or scoring of the SMART report, your certifier will be able to offer further solutions or explanations to the reported findings.
Updates to SMART occur as best practices improve and standards change. Any changes are communicated in the GCA Technical Bulletin that is sent by email from Benetech’s Born Accessible team on a quarterly basis to all GCA certified members. The Community Hub is a great place to discuss any of these updates and the SMART reports in general. In keeping up with these quarterly updates and ongoing conversations, your production workflow will remain up-to-date, and your ebooks will continue to be accessible to the most readers.
Once your ebook has been created, it is time to do a quality assurance check for accessibility. This resource contains both simplified and advanced checklists to help you review your ebooks.
This guide shares a short checklist of items to review when reading or editing image descriptions. Whether you wrote them yourself, or someone else wrote them, this guide will help ensure the quality of descriptions.
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