Candidate Statement - George Kerscher

I’m running for a third term for President of the IDPF and would be delighted to continue as President. I would also be honored to accept a position on the Board.

I’m proud to be one of the founding members of the IDPF. I have served on the IDPF Board for a total of thirteen years. The DAISY Consortium, a truly international organization with members in more than 35 countries, including developing countries, has solidly been behind the IDPF since its inception. The DAISY Board has encouraged me, as the primary representative, to continue in a leadership position within the IDPF. I am also responding to those people in the IDPF who have encouraged me to continue as President.

In my role as President, I have faithfully represented the views of all stakeholders in the evolving digital publishing ecosystem, and I have emphasized the importance of accessibility. I am delighted that the IDPF is now considered an international organization, and I will continue to encourage expansion to include all countries and all languages. I will strive to have greater active participation in working groups by companies and organizations that represent language groups not yet present in the IDPF.

EPUB Needs to Penetrate All Markets

I am pleased with the success of EPUB 3 in the marketplace, but we are nowhere close to reaching the entire market. The advancement of EDUPUB, a profile of EPUB 3, looks promising for education and in other domains that demand more semantics in their publications. I believe we need to push EDUPUB forward and encourage the development of a wide range of tools needed to support the production and consumption of the next-generation interactive publications. The tools in the market must become available to everybody, including students and educators that need to produce rich and fully accessible materials.

I envision the EPUB Standard evolving over time. I have served as the Chair of the Steering Council of the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), a division of the W3C and have participated in various working groups of the W3C. I believe I am well-positioned to help the EPUB Standard reach its full potential while serving the publishing industry.

Inclusive Publishing Becoming the Norm

The IDPF has led the development of the notion of Inclusive Publishing by developing the fully accessible EPUB 3 specification. The industry is not clear and unified on the exact techniques needed to meet the needs of persons with disabilities, but I believe that we have the will and skills to figure it all out. The Inclusive Publishing Ecosystem is going to require collaboration from many sectors; not only the tech companies and publishers, but also organizations that provide services to persons with disabilities. I am blind and I believe I can help to bridge the gaps that currently exist and bring the various sectors together to benefit everybody. 

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