Social Justice Hub
Initiatives we are supporting
Working with within the accessibility community
We work closely with key advocates of accessibility. Our impact on people who are blind, visually impaired, or print disabled has been achieved through our broad range of international accessibility partnerships.
Making impact through our international accessibility partnerships We work closely with key advocates of accessibility. Our impact on people who are blind, visually impaired, or print disabled has been achieved through our accessibility partnerships with Bookshare in the USA, the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) in the UK, the AccessText Network (ATN) in the USA and Canada as well as our own in-house alternate format request process.
Our reach is broad and covers key markets such as North America and Europe, but through our partnerships, we have expanded this to more countries and more communities, ensuring our research and content is accessible to those who need it most.
The RNIB BookShare program which we joined in 2010, is an eBook library facilitated by Benetech which allows their members to access a huge collection of customized eBooks. They have over 1 million members in 94 different countries who download over one million accessible files each year. RNIB reports that it supports more than 33,000 learners and 10,854 organizations.
Also, in January 2021, we joined the AccessText Network (ATN), following direct customer requests and feedback to do so. This network has more than 5,000 individual users and over 3,000 institution members and received 65,000 requests last year. Since we established the partnership with ATN, we have distributed more than 136,000 titles to them.
Between these three partnerships, 95% of our eBook catalogue is available in PDF or ePub formats globally. We have supplied more than 28,000 requests through our own Taylor & Francis Alternate Format Requests program since 2010. These requests are fulfilled through conversions or archive retrieval in ePub, PDF, XML or Word versions and we run this service with a 48-hour turnaround time.
All of these partnerships offer a direct path to enable students with a print or visual impairment to participate in classroom lectures alongside their peers, through direct access to content, which is DRM-free. We regularly receive positive feedback from university disability offices and customers who are happy with the request process and our continued support for students, who rely on alternative formats to complete their studies.
Descriptions create pictures in the mind
“A picture is worth a thousand words“, but it doesn’t take a thousand words to open up your pictures and images to those who are unable to see them. Adding, even any amount of Alt text, describing what your picture, diagram or graph shows, makes your content inclusive to everybody and can bring stories alive and make subjects easier to understand.
Descriptions create pictures in the mind and for those who cannot see pictures, the imagination becomes the most powerful tool. As a blind Mathematics graduate, I could not have engaged in my study, had descriptions of pictures not been made available to me. Pictures are just as crucial as the written word and this is no less so for someone who is unable to see the images through their eyes.
So please, add the Alt text, fuel the imagination and make your content inclusive to all.
Stacy Scott of RNIB Bookshare and Publisher Strategic Relationships Manager and Chair of the Accessibility Action Group – Publishers Association.
Setting the standard - our partnerships with diversity action organizations
We are committed to supporting organizations that actively advance the crucial work towards diversity, equity, and inclusion in the publishing field. One action we have taken is to sign the joint commitment for action on inclusion and diversity in publishing.
This commitment is coordinated by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) and partnered with the Coalition for Diversity and Inclusion in Scholarly Communications (C4DISC). The initiative brings together over 30 publishing organizations to set a new standard to ensure a more inclusive and diverse culture for scholarly publishing.
Collectively as a group we will work towards: the enablement of diversity data to be self-reported by members of our community which can be shared and analyzed anonymously to understand where action is needed; the creation of subject-specific diversity baselines, with minimum targets to achieve appropriate and inclusive representation of authors, reviewers, and editorial decision-makers; the sharing of policies, measurements, language, and standards, to move inclusion and diversity in publishing forward together; and direct action to achieve a minimum standard for inclusion in publishing.
The Joint commitment initiative we have signed is coordinated by the RSC and has brought together over 30 publishing organizations to set a new standard to ensure a more inclusive and diverse culture for scholarly publishing. The remit of this initiative is to understand our research community, reflect its diversity, share success to achieve impact and set minimum standards on which to build.
C4DISC has been founded by ten supporting bodies, including the Society for Scholarly Publishing, the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), and the UK Serials Group (UKSG). Its vision, mission, and values statement outlines the aim to build equity, inclusion, diversity, and accessibility in scholarly communications and a commitment to respect, listen, and act. We are a sponsor of this coalition and we are incorporating their recommendations into our working practices, training, and guidance for colleagues.
“I am thrilled that Taylor & Francis is taking the initiative to participate in the work C4DISC is doing. This is an enormous opportunity for both organizations to advance our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.“
Melanie Dolechek, SSP Executive Director.