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EASI Course: Barrier-free E-learning

EASI is offering a month-long, fee-based course during November 2015 titled "Barrier-Free E-Learning." Find the syllabus and online registration information on EASI website.

The course text which is strongly recommended is Making Online Teaching Accessible, written by Norman Coombs.

This book can be purchased from Jossey-Bass, Amazon and Barnes & Noble either as a paperback or in e-book formats. An accessible DAISY version can be obtained from Bookshare.org.

Dyslexia Awareness: Evaluating Professionals

Many parents are struggling to find effective instruction to meet the educational needs and goals of their children. This situation is especially true for reading instruction. Most public school teachers are not trained in the scientifically based approaches that are effective for a child with dyslexia. The guidelines posted to the International Dyslexia Association website advise what to ask and how to find and evaluate an educational professional independent of the school.

EpubCheck 4.0 Has Been Released

EpubCheck is a tool for verifying whether EPUB files meet the official specification. The new version 4.0 is available to download on GitHub both as source code and as a compiled JAR file.

EpubCheck 4.0 can inspect your ebook in EPUB format and make sure it complies with the latest EPUB standards, including:

New Expanded Image Description Guidelines

The DIAGRAM Center has been working hard to break down the barriers in education caused by inaccessible images. Collaborative efforts have resulted in tools such as Poet, MathML Cloud, and the Accessible Image Sample Book. Poet, the open source image description tool allows anyone to attach image descriptions to DAISY books. Volunteers have now written more than 40,000 image descriptions for DAISY books using Poet.

iBooks Author can now make and export EPUB 3 files

Now the iBooks Author (starting with Version 2.3) can make ebooks which work on various devices. According to Apple, with the new EPUB templates users can:

Direct to Player apps make reading easy

Downloading DAISY audio books and magazines from CELA (Center for Equitable Library Access) service in Canada is easy using the new free Direct to Player apps for iOS and Android.

The apps work with out-of-the-box accessibility features (built-in screen readers) such as VoiceOver (iOS) and Talkback (Android). They support full DAISY functionality – users can start where they left off reading, set bookmarks, navigate by section or phrase, and speed up or slow down the audio.

App for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch:

New study: Dyslexia and dysgraphia require different types of treatment

Brain-based language problems such as dyslexia and dysgraphia fall under the general category of "learning disability," but a new study from the University of Washington shows that they are distinct disorders that require different types of instruction.

Dyslexia is one of the most common learning disabilities and involves problems with reading and spelling words. Dysgraphia is a lesser known disorder that impacts handwriting. It is characterized by poor spelling, but may not affect reading ability.

NLS: That All May Read

Karen Keringer, director of the NLS writes that there are times when a “best-kept secret” is exactly what you want. But not when it comes to one of the highly valued services provided through the Library of Congress – namely the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS).

Purchase Spotlight Text App: Support the DAISY Consortium

The Spotlight Text App for iPad makes eBooks accessible to individuals with low vision and eliminates the need for CCTV desktop readers which can be difficult for some to use and too expensive for many.

List of Benefits:

9th European e-Accessibility Forum: e-Accessible Knowledge

Knowledge is a key driver of social and economic development. It helps shape individual and collective identity and can be a tool for empowerment and inclusion. In this context, disparities in capacity to access and use knowledge can greatly hinder the development of an inclusive society and become a significant source of inequality. While progress has been made through assistive technologies and accessibility standards, persons with disabilities are still at risk of exclusion from education.

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